Peary as a Princess

Beloved Shapeling and occasional blogger Buffpuff wrote to me this morning about a piece in the “Daily Hate” giving 19-year-old Princess Beatrice crap for–stunningly enough–having the same body shape as her mom, Sarah Ferguson. (Sanity Watchers warning applies.)

Sarah in 2001 and Beatrice, recently

Now, I’ll grant you that Beatrice–like countless other young women–could really stand to go up a size in her bikini bottoms. (Check out the pic of Christina Onassis circa 1976 in the article for another example of the same problem. There really is a simple cure for muffin top, y’all–it’s called a waistband that fucking fits.) But beyond that, all we’ve got here is a lovely girl who looks just like her curvy mom. I’M SHOCKED! SHOCKED, I TELL YOU! Especially when the whole article is ostensibly about women whose bodies look like their moms’–it’s just that the young women with thin mothers aren’t chastised for their genetic inheritances.

Bea, however, gets an earful:

Thighs [as opposed to other things the author considers body flaws] you can do something about – as Beatrice may need to find out for herself.

For starters, I’d get rid of the 24-hour police protection Andrew insists on for his daughters.

It’s sheer pomposity that these low-risk princesses should cost the taxpayer £250,000 a year each to protect them. From what? A dangerously rich diet?

But the constant First Class travel, with chauffeured limousines, means that Beatrice spends too much time on her generous bottom.

If and when she sets about changing her body shape, Bea will discover there is no substitute for sensible eating and tough exercise. Something that Fergie knows better than most.

Beatrice does not have to carry the sins of the mother on her thighs.

She has a wonderful and privileged life ahead of her, but unless she gets her body under control, she’ll have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem. Just ask Fergie.

Which does make you rather wonder where her mother is in all this.

It really is hard to know where to begin with that shit. I guess I’ll have to go point by point.

  • I know whereof I speak on this one: Thighs are categorically not something “you can do something about,” unless the “something” in question is liposuction. Right around the same time Fergie started proselytizing for Weight Watchers, I dieted myself down to my smallest ever: size Extra Small on top and size 4 on the bottom. And that bottom? Still consisted of (relatively) wide hips and even wider thighs. Your shape does not go away just because it gets smaller, unless you become genuinely emaciated. Bea’s thighs are there to stay.
  • Because traveling in coach or driving your own Yaris somehow involves less sitting on your ass?
  • How the hell does this woman know what the princess’s eating and exercise habits are like? Answer: she doesn’t. You cannot tell by looking. And, um, Fergie knows better than most about chronic dieting, not “sensible eating.” The two are hardly synonymous.
  • Sins? SINS? Yes, I know it’s a riff on a common phrase, but come on. Especially since there’s clearly no purpose whatsoever for this line except that Amanda Platell apparently thought it was terribly clever.
  • How, exactly, is her body not currently under her control? She looks like she’s controlling it just fine to me.
  • “…she’ll have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem. Just ask Fergie.” This is my favoritest line of reasoning ever. “If you don’t lose weight, you’ll suffer from low self-esteem!” Yes, and why is that again? Oh, right, because of ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE AND ATTITUDES LIKE YOURS, ASSHOLE. Fatty tissue does not actually contain special self-esteem-lowering cells–a fact that’s always lost on the people who tell us we must eliminate our disgusting, hideous, putrid, smelly, unlovable fat because it creates self-esteem problems.
  • Bonus points for telling Bea to learn from her mother’s example, when Fergie’s own yo-yo dieting and self-esteem issues were driven largely by THE FUCKING JACKALS IN THE PRESS WHO WOULDN’T LET UP ON HER WEIGHT.
  • Where is her mother in all what? Do you mean why isn’t her mother insisting she starve herself to be more socially acceptable, even though she’s perfectly healthy and would still be pear-shaped if she were a size 0? Why hasn’t her mother taught her that self-hatred is the only appropriate response to their genetically determined body type? And what on earth makes you think her mother hasn’t passed those things on right along with the thighs, considering she’s currently plugging a weight loss book and has been publicly tortured over her weight and/or shilling for Weight Watchers for about as far back as Beatrice can likely remember? I just love this idea that if a child–even a 19-year-old young woman–is the slightest bit chubby, it means the parents are probably strapping her to the couch and force-feeding her donuts. ‘Cause we all know no kid ever gets fat if the parents want thinness badly enough for her.

Anyway. This article was enough to bring Buffpuff out of blogging hibernation, and I highly recommend that you all go read her letter to the editor of the Daily Mail.

In truth, I don’t give a rat’s patootie about Beatrice as an individual. What I care about is the effect your article will have on the psyches of the women who will read it in a climate where such pernicious, condemnatory tripe is commonplace. (In point of fact another Mail journalist had a pop at Beatrice in the same issue, entreating her to hide her offending hips from public view). I care about the many average-sized women who happen to be shaped like the princess, who will be damaged as a result of being told – for the umpteenth time – that their bodies are substandard and, furthermore, that they are under some kind of moral obligation to keep their natural curves in check. I care about genuinely fat women, whose self-esteem is ground to dust beneath a daily tirade of moralising, ridicule and vilification from the media and who know they are the thing that others fear to be. I even care about joyless neurotics like Becky and poor old Fergie, whose only means of making herself acceptable to society was to make dieting her career – still dutifully waging war on their bodies in middle age because people like you are telling them it’s their duty to society.

I am sicker than I can adequately convey of living in a fearful, vicious culture that equates aesthetics with health and health with morality.

Sing it, sister.

143 thoughts on “Peary as a Princess

  1. Okay, not that this matters, BUT… there is very little actual fat on her. What they appear to be objecting to is the shape of her bones. I’d be interested to hear what they’d have her do about that.

  2. “Thighs are categorically not something ‘you can do something about,’ unless the “something” in question is liposuction … I dieted myself down to my smallest ever: size Extra Small on top and size 4 on the bottom.”

    I wonder if this has something to do with weight gained in the thighs tends to stay, rather than some people just have fat thighs to begin with. In other words, something like fat cell division happens at a faster pace in the thighs, and once there, they stick around, or whatever. We really don’t see thighs like that here in Asia, where the get-fat-then-diet pattern hasn’t taken hold.

  3. Stephen, I think it’s more likely that this basic shape isn’t as common in Asian women–i.e., it’s genetics, just like I said. I sincerely doubt thigh fat is any different than other fat cells. But people’s basic shape does tend to stay the same, regardless of how thin or fat they get.

  4. How, exactly, is her body not currently under her control? She can obviously swim and walk in it. Seems like she’s doing just fine to me.

    Being a little jumpy right now because it’s Blog Against Disablism Day (and I’m glad SM noticed that, I always miss the special blog theme days), but… if she couldn’t swim or walk in it, that wouldn’t be because it wasn’t under her control. You know this of course, just pointing out problematic wording.

    In other news, can we somehow talk the princess into taking up belly dance? She would look fantastic.

  5. When I saw the picture, I seriously wondered what the hell this would be about, since I didn’t see anything unusual about her. Ack.

  6. Funny, you know, another thing that causes thighs not to be super skinny — exercise.

    This bullshit isn’t even about aesthetics anymore (if it ever was), it’s about taking up space AT ALL.

  7. I wish I had curves like hers. Did you see how tiny her waist is?!?

    Also, I’m a smidge smaller (OK, mostly shorter and flatter-chested) than she is, and I wish I had the guts to go around in a bikini.

    The best thing I can say about those pictures is, “Gee, genetics much?!”

  8. The thighs are where the female body holds fat stores for pregnancy and lactation. Some builds during adolescence, and more builds if you become pregnant or go on birth control pills (which simulates the hormonal state of early pregnancy.)

  9. Oh for goodness sake, look how tiny her waist is. Those hips and thighs are just a part of her body, she would waste away to nothing before she lost those. Like Kate, I know of which I speak. And unlike Kate (pay attention here Stephen) I wasn’t fat or chubby immediately after puberty, I was naturally very thin but I still had big hips and thighs because that was just how I was shaped. It’s genetic.

    The interesting thing is, 40 or 50 years ago, her shape would have been considered ideal. I remember looking at pictures of pin-up girls and thinking: “Oh my goodness, these women are fat“. Then I took another look and realised that they had tiny waists and fairly slim upper bodies, they just had big hips and full thighs. The fact that a woman who would have been considered a sex godess in the fifties is now castigated in print for being too fat is a pretty good indication of how beauty standards are not constant.

  10. Oh my God, why did I read the comments? This is the one that really got me:

    Rubbish! Every female in my family is morbidly obese like Bea. I have stayed a size 4 at age 40 by exercising daily and NEVER eating junk food. While it may be true she inherited the body shape, her obesity is due to her poor habits of over eating and being inactive.

    Yes, you’re right; she is morbidly obese! That is such a scientific and accurate descriptor of this girl! I’m glad you have such a healthy and non-disordered relationship with food and thus can bring an objective eye to this.

    Okay, there goes both my Sanity Watcher’s points and my faith in humanity.

  11. I think both of the women in those pictures look very attractive. How is there anything wrong with their bodies? They look like REAL women rather than plastic surgery poster girls. I have never understood why curves are considered a “bad” thing.

  12. They look like REAL women rather than plastic surgery poster girls.

    Just to nip this in the bud right now: They look like real women because both are real women, NOT because they are hippy. Women with hips are real women. Women without hips: also real women. Women who have had plastic surgery are real women as well, albeit ones who have made a choice I generally don’t support.

  13. My apologies, I wasn’t trying to be insulting only complimentary. Please forgive any offense, I assure you it was entirely unintentional.

  14. Okay. Last time I checked even the fatphobes admitted that a heigh hip-to-waist ratio is a good thing and a better predictor of health risks than BMI. And this young woman? Has a damn high hip-to-waist ratio. (And while I try to get over my own body shape issues I really would love, love, love to have a hip-to-waist ratio like that – oh, and I also would like to have her bigger than B-cup boobs.)

    “…she’ll have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem. Just ask Fergie.” This is my favoritest line of reasoning ever. “If you don’t lose weight, you’ll suffer from low self-esteem!” Yes, and why is that again? Oh, right, because of ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE AND ATTITUDES LIKE YOURS, ASSHOLE. Fatty tissue does not actually contain special self-esteem-lowering cells–a fact that’s always lost on the people who tell us we must eliminate our disgusting, hideous, putrid, smelly, unlovable fat because it creates self-esteem problems.

    Yes, yes, yes! Also, someone must have incredibly bad logical reasoning skills if one attributes yo-yo dieting to fat thighs. Because, you know what? If one leaves those thighs (or belly, or whatever other body part that is deemed to big) alone there is not going to be a yo-yo effect.

  15. PeregrinJoe, thanks — it wasn’t really meant as a personal lecture so much as a restatement of our position here. It’s easy for size-acceptance activists to get sucked into the popular “real women have curves” rhetoric, but there’s no need to marginalize anyone or claim that fat/curvy bodies are superior. There’s room for all of us on this bus, though perhaps not in the seats.

  16. FJ – Point well taken. It’s so easy to get fired up by something and start talking out of your ass before you realize it. Thanks.

  17. There’s room for all of us on this bus, though perhaps not in the seats.

    Surely our bus has adjustable reclining seats that can be hooked together/taken apart in some modular fashion to accommodate all body sizes! ;-)

    Great post, Kate.

  18. Allow me a brief moment of horndog to say: dayamn she’s hot! If I looked that good in a bikini I’d never wear real clothing, muffin top be damned. I never understood the media’s obsession with “Fergie” either, she was always a woman I wanted to grow up to look like (or possibly just grow up to date).

    Seriously, women can’t have bodies that take up any space without some entitled asshat making them feel like crap.

  19. Stephen, when I was Bea’s age I was skinny. No, really, skinny. I had – up to that point – always been quite skinny. At the same time, I had me some thighs of thunder and seriously sturdy calves. Not only were they quite muscular from walking everywhere, but they actually started out that shape and have not changed one iota in relation to the rest of my body’s size, no matter how fat or thin I was at the time.

    Size two or size thirty-two, body shape is body shape and remains pretty much the same. If her shape is a pear, it’s a pear and that’s all there is to it.

    Bea’s got a great body. It’s a pity she’s being treated so shabbily for it. But I do find it sad that nobody has clued her in to proper fit in swimwear.

  20. I have a tiny, wee, kind-of-adopted Thai sister, (looong complicated story), who was a volleyball champ in Thailand – and lemme tell ya, Stephen, chunky thighs o’ doom, even when she dieted herself down to a UK size 8. I also had a school friend who retained her curvaceous thighs through several years as a full blown honest to gosh anorexic. You simply can’t fight nature and why the buggery bollocks should we be expected to?

  21. “Beatrice does not have to carry the sins of the mother on her thighs.”

    They get done saying that she has her mother’s shape and that her mother has fought year after year against it (and lost) so how is genetic inheritance related to “sins” of eating too much or not exercising? (Even if we knew she did both those things.)

    “She has a wonderful and privileged life ahead of her, but unless she gets her body under control, she’ll have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem. Just ask Fergie.”

    So she should embark on a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem like her mom and that’s a good thing?

    Also…fillyjonk, if you wouldn’t mind clarifying, I can’t see what is wrong with noting that she is in control of her body (as in can make it do what she wants – except maybe change shape) wrt disability. I’ve been everywhere from able-bodied to wheelchair-bound to bed-ridden to just semi-lame and it’s not connecting. If you wouldn’t mind explaining I’d appreciate it. Unless you’re referring to her having the authority to make decisions regarding her body, in which case I get it.

    “Which does make you rather wonder where her mother is in all this.”

    I thought you said yo-yo dieting, still pear-shaped, and suffering from pitiful self-esteem. And probably hiding the hell away from assholes in the press.

  22. Like Zilly above, I wondered what this article was about when I saw the pictures – I saw an attractive woman in a bikini, not as thin as is the currently defined beauty ideal, but certainly not unusual.

    Just reading the pieces of comments from the original story that folks have included here has taken up all my sanity points for the day. This society truly is crazy.

  23. *headdesk*

    “…she’ll have a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and pitiful self-esteem. Just ask Fergie.” This is my favoritest line of reasoning ever. “If you don’t lose weight, you’ll suffer from low self-esteem!” Yes, and why is that again? Oh, right, because of ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE AND ATTITUDES LIKE YOURS, ASSHOLE. Fatty tissue does not actually contain special self-esteem-lowering cells–a fact that’s always lost on the people who tell us we must eliminate our disgusting, hideous, putrid, smelly, unlovable fat because it creates self-esteem problems.

    Every time someone mentions fat in connection to self esteem I get to urge to yell this general sentiment in their direction with a very loud voice (and my voice is very loud anyway, when I yell it’s SUPER loud).

  24. Also…fillyjonk, if you wouldn’t mind clarifying, I can’t see what is wrong with noting that she is in control of her body (as in can make it do what she wants – except maybe change shape) wrt disability.

    Annie, the original post said something like “of course she’s in control of her body — she can walk and swim in it, she’s doing just fine.” Which is, prima facie, true and inoffensive, as walking and swimming are forms of controlling one’s body. But there’s a potential implication (which I know Kate didn’t mean, but it leapt out at me) that one proves control over one’s body by using it in physically active ways, ways that are off the table for a lot of people with physical disabilities.

    That’s leaving aside the whole problem of equating “controlling your body” with “minimizing your body,” of course, which is what’s really offensive. Man, the Daily Mail really isn’t worth the paper or pixels it’s printed on.

  25. Surely our bus has adjustable reclining seats that can be hooked together/taken apart in some modular fashion to accommodate all body sizes!

    Actually, I think the Piggy Moo bus probably just has a shitload of pillows on the floor.

  26. Thanks fillyjonk. It just wasn’t coming; but I’m incredibly tired and underslept today. Yawn. Good posts.

  27. I look pretty much just like that, 37-year-old version, and I wish I could say I was surprised she’s getting flak, but, um, duh. *sigh* It’s like sweetmachine put it last September — “that, basically, encapsulates the inbetweenie experience for me: even when you think you are kinda thin, or thin for you, someone’s out there to tell you that you’re not thin enough.”

    The class/economic resentment is intersecting with the fat hate in such a weird way in that article. It’s making my head spin. It’s like the writer went, okay, normally I can rank on fat people for being low-class poor folk who won’t change their self-destructive shortsighted ways, but here is a super-upper-class woman who’s “fat”, so how the heck am I going to write my hate piece? Result: this strange incoherent ugliness.

  28. She’s wearing a swimsuit that’s too small on both top and bottom, but other than that, she looks amazing and beautiful. What the hell is wrong with people? If I didn’t already believe that TPTB wanted all women to waste away to silent, starving shadows of real people, this would push me over the edge. Gah.

  29. We should invite Bea over here. All that gloop in the press — it might be nice for her to know there’s a different (and saner and nicer) point of view.

  30. Actually, I think the Piggy Moo bus probably just has a shitload of pillows on the floor.

    AND BEANBAG CHAIRS.

    I always wanted a beanbag chair as a kid, and my mom would never get my one. It was a dark struggle that lasted through most of my elementary years.

    So the Piggy Moo bus must have at least one beanbag chair. A HUGE beanbag chair. So big that three fat women can sit on it comfortable. Five if we want to get cozy. With a crazy tie-dye pattern on it. Or polka dots. TIE-DYE POLKA DOTS.

  31. I think that she looks fabulous, other than the danger of her boobs possibly escaping her top if she’s not careful.

    And I had no idea that she looked so much like her mother. With those two pictures side by side, they look like twins with who dyed their hair different colors.

  32. Narrative aside, I have to say, the pictures in that article are fascinating. If there was ever a clearer example that our body shapes are a direct result of genetics… here it is.

    Poor kid. I always feel bad for the royals and kids of celebrity types. At least actors and musicians know what they’re getting into when they seek fame. These people don’t ask for it, they just get born into it.

  33. What about those big round chairs-I think they were called ‘mama-san’ and papa-san’ chairs-we could have them without the bases, so that when the bus turned corners, we’d all tip to the side.

    My first thought when I saw the picture of Bea was “Wow, that’s one hell of an hourglass!” because that’s one tiny waist she has. As someone mentioned above, those hips are made largely of bone-no amount of dieting is going to make them much smaller.

  34. she looks awesome. so many rags are bitchy about how women look (in every respect) that i think i’ve lost my ability to be surprised by it. really, no matter who you are or what you look like, you’re on the chopping block. someone won’t like you. and – not surprisingly to anyone who’s born with both X chromosomes – women get more criticism in more varieties than any other group.

    thank you for this:
    “Fatty tissue does not actually contain special self-esteem-lowering cells–a fact that’s always lost on the people who tell us we must eliminate our disgusting, hideous, putrid, smelly, unlovable fat because it creates self-esteem problems.”

    ha! ahhahaha! ‘does not contain special self-esteem-lowering cells’

  35. “women get more criticism in more varieties than any other group.”

    let me quickly clarify that this is because we’re roughly half the population – it’s sheer numbers, really.

  36. I don’t even bother this time. It’s the Daily Mail, the worst newspaper in the world. They hate women, they hate fat people, immigrants, the rich, the royal, the poor, working mums, stay-at-home dads, Dodi Al-Fayed, atheists, black people, kids who aren’t Madeleine McCann, environmentalists, everyone. They are allied with the BNP, and the founder also gave funds to the Nazis. They just spew hate, hate, hate, making themselves look like narrow-minded, sexually unsatisfied people with hemorroids who are just looking for scapegoats everywhere. People they can blame for the decay of Britain, even if fascist press and media like this ARE the only ones to blame. That, and Prime Ministers with no personality and no free will, who only do what a certain president from a certain other country does.

    And Princess Beatrice is hot.

  37. Standing up and applauding loudly!

    I just LOVE reading here because you all can say so eloquently the things I’d love to say to judgmental people but can never find the words.

    Thank you for being here and let the ranting continue! :)

  38. Your shape does not go away just because it gets smaller, unless you become genuinely emaciated.

    I wish I had realized this 20 years ago. At the time I was – in retrospect – quite thin, but I thought of myself as huge, because of my relatively thick arms and almost-as-wide-as-my-hips waist. It’s only recently that I’ve finally come to terms with fact that that’s just how I’m shaped, and that there isn’t anything short of major surgery that could change my proportions. I’m actually much happier with my body now, 30 pounds heavier, than I was when I was borderline underweight.

    And I can’t speak for Beatrice (natch), but I have a very hard time finding panties and other bottoms that don’t have a slightly too tight hipband or waistband, and yet are still snug enough to not fall down of their own accord. I’ve always attributed that to the extreme flatness of my butt.

  39. Yeah, this is the Daily Mail, which has also brought us the headline: “Abortion hope after ‘gay gene’ find.”

    I can’t even get started on that.

    “Your shape does not go away just because it gets smaller, unless you become genuinely emaciated.”

    Exactly. I’ve been 42 pounds lighter than I am now, and only *at that point* did my stomach stop doing that convex-just-under-my-breasts thing I hate so much — and that was only because there was no stomach left to *do* it. (Eating ~200 calories a day will do that to you). My stomach is that shape. My stomach will always be that shape (when I am eating above starvation levels). And for some reason that’s the only bit of my “overweight” body I don’t like — every other bit I can adore just as it is, but that tiny bit of stomach., that’s my FA challenge and no mistake.

    On the plus side, after reading the “What Would You Tell You 14-year-old Self?” post I’ve thought “to fuck with it” and in fake-it-til-you-make-it style I AM wearing a bikini this summer because society can suck it. I’ll just work on the self-belief as I go along.

    Anyway, I’m working as a camp counsellor all summer and my job is to be a role model for young people. I’m going to role-model the HELL out of accepting your body exactly the way it is, even if I’m not 100% there yet.

  40. Ok, if the bus only has beanbag chairs and pillows on the floor, y’all better be prepared to help me get up. My knee still isn’t completely healed.

  41. OK, I have a new rule. If a woman wants to write a story for the Daily Shitebag or anything else about how ZOMGOBESE another woman is, she must post a FULL LENGTH UNRETOUCHED PICTURE OF HERSELF IN A BIKINI alongside the article. If you demand perfection, at the very least you have to show us how it’s done. Let the tossers ridicule YOUR cellulite which all the lipo and workouts and no-carb diets can never get rid of. See how YOU like it, fuckbags.

  42. And addendum to my “rule”: Said author photo must be taken on the beach, in broad daylight, with wet hair and no makeup.

  43. It makes me so angry to see the media tearing down people because they don’t like the way they look, especially when they’re making hateful and false judgements on thier health. Princess Bea (and her mom) are lovely.

    So much hatred…I can’t stand it sometimes.

  44. Caitlin, I think I”m going to do the same thing. Wearing a bikini that is I still have my last “skinny” bikini but f-that I’m going to get one that fits and maybe a spray tan so I don’t blind people with the reflective quality of my skin. I real bikini too, not a tankini (although those are cute) because dammit, I’m hott :-)

  45. What about those big round chairs-I think they were called ‘mama-san’ and papa-san’ chairs-we could have them without the bases, so that when the bus turned corners, we’d all tip to the side.

    YES! We used to have a papasan chair. Oh, I loved that thing. We would take it off of its base and then sit it in it and tip it from side to side and pretend it was a boat. And then our parents would yell at us, so we’d turn it upside down and hide under it and say that we were turtles.

    Then when we moved rooms, I got to have the papasan chair in my room, and it was just about the greatest thing ever.

    That chair is long gone now, but I totally second the request for papasan chairs to tip about the bus in.

    (OMG I just google papasan chairs and did you know they have DOUBLE PAPASAN CHAIRS? They’re, like, PAPASAN SOFAS. THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER.)

    Oh, and I totally second Meowser’s rule. Absolutely.

  46. Meowser, I think we can probably assume Ms Platell’s lamented “saddlebag thighs” are still hangin’ in there regardless of how much she despises them.

  47. maybe a spray tan so I don’t blind people with the reflective quality of my skin.

    I am also blindingly pale, but I have decided that, as with my fat, if people don’t like it, they are free to look the the other way. :)

    (Which is not to say that if you want a spray tan you shouldn’t get one; it’s simply to say that being ghostly is okay, too!)

  48. Right! Because if you’re bubbly and fun and round and a little curvy/chubby/hippy, you might grow up to marry a prince and get to live in a palace!

    I mean, I know it’s bad feminism to talk about growing up to marry a prince, but the way this article talks about poor mom’s fate, it’s like she fell under a bus after having lived in a box down by the river her whole life. She lives an interesting rich life with 2 daughters and a good relationship with her ex, and she’s still wearing bathing suits on the beach. She hardly needs anyone’s pity and neither does her daughter. I think people are STILL mad that Andrew thought his ex was a hottie.

  49. I just clicked over to the article, and this, re: Fergie, is my favorite part:

    <the obesity that drove her to despair and wrecked her marriage

    I love the way these people always credit Obesity with doing all kinds of horrible stuff, like it’s this malevolent force with a will of its own. Oh, that tricksy Obesity, what will it do next? Shave your head while you sleep? Eat all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms? Damn you, Obesity, you got me again!

  50. Crap, I messed up my tags. Pretend that the obesity that drove her to despair and wrecked her marriage is in italics up there, too, please. kthxbai.

  51. Oh, that tricksy Obesity, what will it do next? Shave your head while you sleep? Eat all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms? Damn you, Obesity, you got me again!

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! I hate it when my thighs eat all the marshmallows first.

  52. Yay, Lexy! We should have an outbreak of fat people refusing to cover themselves up if they don’t damn well want to. Coming soon to a beach near you. :D (Of course, if you’re happier in a swimsuit, more power to you. I just could not suit a piece of clothing less.)

    “I real bikini too, not a tankini”

    This is the thing. Apparently those of us who aren’t a size 0 are “supposed” to wear tankinis (well, we’re *supposed* to stay indoors with the curtains closed and only eat broccoli, but putting that aside), but I find a tankini makes me look far worse than a bikini. With a bikini I’ve got the awesome chest and hips going on and my stomach creating the gap between the two for dramatic effect, but with a tankini that effect’s removed and I just look a) stumpy and b) like I’m wearing clingy waterproof material over my stomach, so you can see exactly what shape it is anyway. It’s like, what’s the point? (On reflection I presume it’s so the haters don’t have to suffer the sight of my stomach coming to get them, but see above re: fuck that.) Bikini all the way.

    I’m also about as pale as it’s possible to be, but I’m Irish so I rock that. (The only person I’ve ever met who was paler was my ex, and her skin was like marble. Man, it was beautiful.) The current obsession with forcing everyone to spray tan is another of my pet hatreds. Some people do look and/or feel better with a spray tan, but a whole lot of people don’t and they shouldn’t be pressurised into painting themselves orange, you know?

    It’s weird, actually, that I’m 100% delighted about being pale in a culture that rejects that idea of beauty (I was the only girl in my school who didn’t wear fake tan to our formal) because it’s my genetics and I’m meant to be this way, yet I can’t get myself to apply the same thinking to my build. I’m of farming stock, and I’m only here because about 120 of my ancestors survived a famine that killed a million of us, so *why* can I not accept that maybe my body would like to store a bit of extra fat round my middle and that’s how I’m meant to be…? Hmm. Something to think about.

  53. Meowser, I am having this really disturbing mental image of my belly sneaking off while I sleep and rearranging my furniture.

    I just hate the way these articles always talk about Obesity doing all this shit. Like, if someone’s spouse leaves them because they got fat, then their spouse and his/her shitty attitude ruined their marriage; poor much-maligned Obesity didn’t do anything.

  54. One thing that really stands out to me is the implication that because the Princess is a shape the author doesn’t like, she’s not entitled to having any of the taxpayer’s money spent on her for protection, travel, etc.

    Last I checked, the royals were special and deserving of taxpayer funds because they are part of a family who used to own the nation, or something. I forget why the royal family is special, exactly, just that by dint of being born into that family, the nation has agreed that they are.

    You don’t get to pick and choose who gets put in the royal family, and if you don’t like how they look, perhaps you should agitate for a new form of government where taxpayers may vote on whom they’d like for a national figurehead, or a government where no money is earmarked for use by a royal family of any kind.

  55. I couldn’t be bothered to read the whole article – or the accompanying comments from DM readers.

    Like Bea I have ‘thighs ‘o’ doom’, in my case attached to sturdy calves and overshadowed by a ‘rack ‘o’ doom’. And they don’t change – fat or thin, they are all still there because it’s my basic shape. (And I look like my mother :( )

    It’s a crazy world where a national paper slags off a teenage girl for not looking photoshopped… or for being herself. You go girl!

  56. Oh, that tricksy Obesity, what will it do next? Shave your head while you sleep? Eat all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms? Damn you, Obesity, you got me again!

    I’m officially going to replace every concern troll comment with this text.

  57. Hmmm… is it okay for me to just keep wearing my swimdress? It’s not a self-conscious thing (well, okay some of it is but still…) so much as that my awesomely jiggly belly actually feels more comfortable when it’s wrapped up in stuff and the breeze can’t hit it.

    That, and my swimdress is gorgeous.

  58. Bunny Mazonas, you can wear a 18th century bathing costume updated with sparkles and neon, if you want to.

  59. People, have you still not gotten the memo?

    The job of all women, whether they sign up for it or not, is to stiffen the dicks of all heterosexual dudes everywhere, and accomodating each said dude’s physical predilections. If we do not have a slammin’ ass, we’ve failed all the straight ass-men everywhere. Chest too small? Shame on you for letting down or offending the tender sexual fantasies of breast-men all over the world.

    The longer you can keep a grip on your powers of sexual attractiveness to all of Western dudedom (and maybe the Asian ones, too?) the more successful and worthy you are as a human being.

    *snarkfest over*

  60. “you can wear a 18th century bathing costume updated with sparkles and neon, if you want to.”

    And I really, really think you should. How awesome?

    “Oh, that tricksy Obesity, what will it do next? Shave your head while you sleep? Eat all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms? Damn you, Obesity, you got me again!”

    ^^Funniest thing I’ve read today.

  61. And, dammit, Kate, why did you have to use the words “muffin top?” Why? *starts to cry splashy Snoopy tears and bang Schroeder’s piano*

    I HATE that a glorious part of an equally glorious baked good has now become a synonym for “a despised, deformed part of the female body.”

    I think we should boycott using the term “muffin top.”

    Anyone with me?

  62. It’s interesting how much photoshopping screws with you. All of these were pictures of women lean to curvy, in suits. They all look like women, but NOT one of them would really reach the ideal our society continiously strives for. Not one of them would be free from criticism for being too fat, too boney, too ugly, too wrinkled, too pale, too old, too tan….

    It’s a never ending cycle, one I’ve turned my back on. I stopped reading celebrity rags and I don’t read celebrity bashing websites anymore. BuffPuff makes an excellent point, in that, participating in your own self degradation while degrading another woman serves no one. You’ll never conquer your own aprehensions about your body while actively disparaging another woman from showing hers off, no matter how fat or thin it is.

  63. Yeah, this is the Daily Mail, which has also brought us the headline: “Abortion hope after ‘gay gene’ find.”

    They seriously said that? Oh, please.

    Bea is
    a) stunning
    b) about my shape but smaller
    and c) rich enough to make way better fitting choices in swimwear. And with more choice available, probably, than when I was her age and did used to actually wear bikinis, but when they didn’t yet sell separate tops and bottoms in different sizes. (Come to think of it, why do I not wear a bikini these days anyway? Hmm…)

  64. A word on the papasan chairs:

    Never, under any circumstances, should you try to sit in one of those after some Margaritas. I’ve spent hours trapped underneath the “shell” of a papsan chair trying to drunkenly escape one of those.

    *shudder*

    I mention this because if there is not a margarita machine on the Piggy Moo bus, I’m going to have to speak to management.

  65. Yeah, what is up with WordPress and the winkies? I think it interprets a period and a close parenthesis as a winking smiley, which is just dumb. First of all, it doesn’t even look like a winking smiley. Second, honestly, which is more common, people refusing to use semicolons even in a winky smiley and thus having to get creative, or people enclosing a sentence in parentheses?

  66. You know what? I bet it’s Obesity. Obesity keeps making innocent punctuation into winky smileys.

    And Obesity trapped Cindy in a papasan.

  67. I think we should boycott using the term “muffin top.”

    I’ve never used it yet. Primarily because, as you say, I think baked goods are awesome. Fat rolls due to people feeling pressured to buy clothes that are too small for them…not so awesome.

    God, I could go a muffin right now.

  68. God, I could go a muffin right now.

    Baby-flavored muffins?

  69. I mention this because if there is not a margarita machine on the Piggy Moo bus, I’m going to have to speak to management.

    Also, can I just say, if there is a margarita machine on the Piggy Moo bus I am to be let NOWHERE NEAR IT. There will be tears and vomiting before bedtime.

  70. I disagree with the idea that muffin top, or whatever you want to call it, is so perfectly avoidable. Not in my experience it isn’t. Maybe if I wore suspenders and/or only waistbands above the belly button, but I’m not willing to make that sacrifice to save the world from my muffin top.

  71. Peggy: Clearly we are related. We have the same body! ALl my life my body has resembled a cylinder, rather than an hourglass. As a cylinder, I TRULY admore the princesses figure.

    I agree, also: no more Muffiin top. As a person with a waist more or less the same size as my hips, all pants and indeed all clothing made for humans gives me one, even when they are as close to a perfect fit as it possible.

  72. But you guys, buying the right-size clothes fixes that problem for me, and obviously everyone else’s experiences must be the exact same as mine…oh, wait.

    Thanks for calling me on the assumption. I should have had, you know, some thought.

  73. Except for the fact her bikini doesn’t fit properly, there’s nothing wrong the princess. I see girls with her shape all the time in bikinis, belly tops, and painted-on pants. Most are probably no bigger than a 14. If the assclowns who write for and comment at The Daily Mail think she’s obese, I’ll mail them a picture of me in a bikini.

  74. Every time the media gets their panties in a bunch over a woman with a shape like Bea’s, I wanna scream. A few months ago, here in the US, it was Jennifer Love Hewitt everyone was fussing over. A few pics taken at unflattering angles and she was either pregnant or a cow. Or maybe both, who knows?

    Her rant on her blog was fabulous… and maybe you all know about this (I am a fairly new reader still). I was just so damn proud of her – and I haven’t been exactly a big fan of hers previously.

    I was a fat kid. I weight like 90 pounds in kindergarten. I gained weight in my belly, but my arms and legs basically stayed slim(mish). Well, when I was 8 and 120 pounds I was put on a super restrictive diet by my aunt. So by the start of 5th grade, at the age of 10, I was 5’2″ and 95 pounds – technically under the BMI chart requirements. Guess what? I still had a belly and skinny arms and legs. I was active like crazy, so it wasn’t that, either.

    Besides, every time I see a picture of the Princess, she’s either skiing or on the beach. Doesn’t seem like she’s spending that much time on her perfectly lovely ass to me.

    Though I do agree about the bottom not being the proper size… why is people don’t realize that makes them look worse? I guess it’s hard to give up whatever number that size is…

  75. Colleen: “Oh, that tricksy Obesity, what will it do next? Shave your head while you sleep? Eat all the marshmallows out of your Lucky Charms? Damn you, Obesity, you got me again!”

    We hatesssss it! That’s too funny. :D

  76. Bree, I would add that if the princess weighed 300 pounds and had a tummy bigger than mine there would still be nothing “wrong” with her.

  77. um, THAT GIRL HAS A GORGEOUS FIGURE.

    What’s more, she’s 17, she doesn’t deserve to be heckled by a press that’s probably almost twice her age and secretly jealous because she’s a radiant young woman who choses to enjoy her body rather than feel shame over it!

  78. I haven’t read all the replies yet, but I have to respond, because I am absolutely ENRAGED. Seriously, I’m literally shaking right now.

    I have a body of a similar size to Bea’s, although I have significantly narrower hips and broader shoulders. I have run multiple marathons (and even more shorter road races), can run a mile in 7 minutes, I lift weights (I probably get about 1-1 1/2 hours of exercise a day on average, but I do it because I love it, not to mold myself), I eat what most people consider to be a very healthy diet, and I don’t overeat when I’m satiated nor deny myself when I’m hungry anymore. THIS IS WHAT MY BODY DOES WHEN I’M TREATING IT WELL. THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN I AM TRULY ENGAGING IN “SENSIBLE EATING AND VIGOROUS EXERCISE.” The only way I can get much smaller is to CHRONICALLY STARVE MYSELF. I’ve been there, done that, bought the freaking t-shirt, and there is no way in hell I’m going back. I spent too much time in counseling, too much time having panic attacks, too much time crying about the fact that I was “weak” because I finally let myself eat when I was hungry, too much time working to change my attitude toward my body. Anyone who feels the need to tell me that I’m doing something wrong because I’m not thin (let’s ignore the fact that I’m thinner than most of the women in my extended family to who I am genetically related) can fucking kiss my happily size 8 (US) ass.

    THERE IS PROBABLY NOTHING SHE CAN DO ABOUT HER THIGHS. Nor does she need to. She’s gorgeous exactly the way she is. I have naturally disproportionately large thighs (like my mother does as well, surprise, surprise), and when I started running 30-40 miles a week several years ago…they got BIGGER, even though I did get smaller on some other parts of my body. But you know what? I love my thighs. They are big, muscular, and strong, and they are super functional. They have carried me for several hours strong running, hiking, biking, and let me do the things I want to do.

    Princess Bea has nothing wrong with her body. Nor does her mother. Nor do any of the other women pictured in the article. You can’t tell their eating and exercise habits from looking at them. If there is something FUNCTIONING incorrectly, if they truly aren’t eating and exercising in a way that is optimal for them as individuals, it is totally individual matter, and it’s none of our business whether or not they decide to do anything about it.

  79. “OK, I have a new rule. If a woman wants to write a story for the Daily Shitebag or anything else about how ZOMGOBESE another woman is, she must post a FULL LENGTH UNRETOUCHED PICTURE OF HERSELF IN A BIKINI alongside the article. If you demand perfection, at the very least you have to show us how it’s done. Let the tossers ridicule YOUR cellulite which all the lipo and workouts and no-carb diets can never get rid of. See how YOU like it, fuckbags.”

    YES. I was wondering about the “perfection” of the Ms. Platell’s figure myself. I think this rule needs to be constituted into celebrity “journalism.” I wonder how many of these writers can dish it out, but not take it.

  80. Well I ended up googling it because I honestly think the picture is fairly unflattering – both to her face and figure (as 99% of those kind of random “candid” shots will always be) and found this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1563880/Building-the-Princess-Beatrice-brand.html

    I wouldn’t wear the bikini on the street (actually, being me I’d wear a regular suit even on the beach but that’s a personal decision – for swimming, swimwear is what’s appropriate) and she isn’t either – she’s swimming. I wanted to see what she looked like when she isn’t swimming, and damn, she rocks that dress. I wouldn’t have thought “chunky” at all – I would have thought bombshell. She really does have a great figure, IMO. And I hope she doesn’t ever try to “do something about” her shape because she’d be giving up a hell of a great look in some beautiful dresses. What is there not to like? Even FOR the fat-haters I mean?

  81. It’s funny this should come up now, because over the last few months I’ve been resigning myself to the fact that I really do have my mother’s body (except for my legs, which are my dad’s.) And it is really “resigning myself to.” I wish it were “celebrating,” but it’s not yet. As a girl, when I didn’t know what real bodies even looked like (thank you, fashion magazines!) and my own body seemed like a complete mystery, my mom’s body was the one I saw as falling terribly, alarmingly, horribly short of the ideal. And so did she. I wish she hadn’t. I don’t blame her, though. The shame I feel at the signs that my OWN body, as a mother, is so very much like my mom’s body… wow, I mean, it goes really far down, you know? Further down than even the baseline level of self-hatred that I’ve kind of worked past.

  82. I just have to chime in in agreement with the sentiment that body shape is body shape, no matter what size that body happens to be. And I say that as a person who has a muffin top when NAKED. And I did when I was about 100 pounds lighter than I am now. (Read: Seriously, seriously skinny, and about 12 years old.)

    Did someone in the article comments actually call her “morbidly obese?” Wow. Just wow. I thought the doctor I work with who noted “morbid obesity” on people who are over 125 was one of a kind. Guess he has a twin somewhere.

    Human beings can be so frustrating.

  83. Caitlin: My stomach does that little pooch out thing too, always has. Even when I had ridiculous abs (Colorguard required 200+ crunches a day my freshman year of high school… the instructor was obsessed with flat tummies), the little “giblets” were still there. Its nice to hear that someone else’s stomach does the same thing!

    Bea looks gorgeous, and has inspired me to go for a real bikini this summer. :D My campers will just have to deal with being blinded by my pale, pale stomach.

  84. Personally I think Bea has a very sexy curvy body and one many women would like to have and many men would like to make love to.

    My main problem with the photo is that if even a princess can’t get a proper fitting bikini with decent bust and bum support, what hope is there for the rest of us?

  85. I know that we probably don’t need one more post on this thread saying body shape is body shape — but it damn well is! And I wish that we saw more women with pear shapes who weren’t photoshopped or pilloried.

    I hate that I have spent so much energy in my life for hating my body for being shaped like this. I’ve been thin, I’ve been fat, I’m currently on the low side of inbetweenie, but it makes NO difference. My thighs are only a few inches smaller than my waist. I once thought I could make them go away — that was back in the days of my first “food diary” when I would earnestly record things like “1/3 oreo” (a real entry), and I could fit my “lunch” in my pencil case, along with all of my pens. So, yup, I’ve been shaped like this since at least age 12.

    And, when my mom & sister & I walk somewhere together, you couldn’t tell our shadows apart.

    I’m getting out my bikini and putting away my coverup shorts!

  86. When I was growing into my adult body I had a conversation from my bio-dad (which lingers in my mind to this day). The gist of which amounted to “There should only be 3 small points on your legs that touch together. Your ankles, your calves, your knees. I should be able to see sunshine between your thighs”.

    This is the kind of mentality that fuels current slander against any of the currently non-conventional female shapes. And you know what, no matter how hard you feel the guilt and shame of those sorts of phrases and try to “Work off” your body’s natural shape; it doesn’t happen.

    For those speaking on the tummy “pooch”, our family totally has that! My mom was a freaking size 2 or 4 at one point in her youth and STILL had a pooch. Huzzah for a place to rest my hands when I wear pouch-sporting sweatshirts! :D

    Beautiful post.

  87. My goddess, ladies (and the occasional gent)…I am sitting here in my very awesome Yogipoof beanbag chair laughing my ass off at the brilliance and humor of your comments. Kate, the post was great, but I have to say, this community full of smart, sassy, brilliant women (and the occasional gent) who leave comments worthy of all those adjectives and more, make my whole fucking year. Bless you all, and thanks. You matter to me more than you could know.

  88. April D: Why would your dad tell you that? It sounds quite incestous. Fathers wanting to shape up their daughters’ bodies according to what they fancy is incestous. (see: Jessica and Ashlee Simpson)

    Piggy Moo people: thank you so much for saying the name “papasan chair”. I have always wanted a chair like that, but I didn’t know what it was called like, until Cindy said she got trapped underneath one of those. Thank you loads and loads, girls! Now I know what to ask for at the furniture store! :)

  89. KMTBERRY: I’m more of a cylinder with big boobs. And I used to hate that too, since I wanted to be willowy rather than top-heavy. And thinking of that, I guess I’ve always associated thin willowy women who have narrow hips and small breasts with an “aristocratic” look. I wonder if that’s part of what is fueling the criticism of Beatrice – her proportions are too “common” (in both senses – lower class and present in many women). Or maybe that’s my own biases talking.

    In any case, it really sucks that women in the public eye are considered fair game for harsh criticism about their bodies, as if they owe it to the public to live up to some ideal (that varies from person to person, of course). And, honestly, I don’t think the comments that she’s “hot” or has a great figure are that much better, even though the intent is positive. Even if she was unattractive in the conventional sense or really was obese, she wouldn’t deserve to have her body picked apart by strangers.

  90. Meowser, your comment made me curious about the author, because reading such ridiculousness I imagine in my head someone as diet obsessed as Anne Coulter or Janice Dickenson or Mememememe Roth. Otherwise what woman is so judgmental yet self confident that she would want to pick on a beautiful younger women with a lovely figure as being somehow insufficient in the looks department – and then hold that same beautiful girl to be failing in some way for having that figure and look?

    I mean, you’ve got to be pretty confident and arrogant, right?

    Anyway, I was somewhat surprised. Although Amanda Platell is in no way fat, or even slightly fat, or unattractive, neither is she so slender or so beautiful as to be utterly above bodily reproach by people as judgmental as she is.

    She’s not seventeen, she has a very strong jaw, and her figure’s not Hollywood. She can’t seriously think she’s above the same sort of (bullshit) criticism; so why is she aiming that gun? Does she think that she’s immune? Does she not see herself loading a gun and pointing it at HERSELF?

    You really have to be Kiera Knightly slender to go uncritiqued as fat these days, when Britney Spears at *maybe* 20% body fat is being slammed by the media as fat. And Kiera gets slammed as anorexic.

    I don’t get it. If you want to be in the media and the public eye it’s sort of a career limiting strategy to set the bar up to “Photoshop”. You’re not going to make it over that bar, and I don’t care WHO you are.

  91. And addendum to my “rule”: Said author photo must be taken on the beach, in broad daylight, with wet hair and no makeup.

    It also has to be taken when the author is just out having an innocent good time on a family vacation and has no idea his or her picture is being snapped (see Kelly Clarkson and Keely Shaye Smith in addition to the Jennifer Love Hewitt example already given) and therefore no time to assume a red carpet pose and suck in their stomach.

    I vote that your proposal must also be carried out for all people, male and female, who wish to pick apart a woman’s appearance on venues such as television message boards. If they wish to add a bogus deflection claiming they’re only concerned about public health and skyrocketing obesity levels, or if their post contains any kind of diagnosis of the woman in the picture as unhealthy, overweight, or obese, then their unretouched, natural-hair-and-makeup, candid vacation photo in poor lighting to be posted for general critique will also be nude and/or taken while the poster is eating.

    I somehow suspect this policy might mysteriously cut down on the legions of beautiful, ultra-healthy, fashionable, totally cellulite-free, thinner-than-whichever-celebrity-is-being-discussed anonymous message board posters currently on the ‘Tubes (tm KMTBERRY).

    Colleen, awesome. Obesity is the GoodTimes virus!

    buffpuff, thank you for trying to talk some sense into these idiots.

  92. (on the smiley thing, earlier today WordPress interpreted a quotation mark followed by a closing parenthesis that I typed as a winking smiley. Since when has that been a winking smiley?)

  93. Absolutely, SCG. The same goes for dirt-dishing and fat-bashing men; they have to pose in a SPEEDO. (Gene Weingarten, you have been forewarned.)

  94. I think we have an agreement then. Not that I particularly want to look at mean assholes in Speedos (regardless of whether they are fat, thin, attractive to me or unattractive to me) but I’ll take one for the team. :)

  95. Fillyjonk, I’m concerned about the safety of the seating on the Piggy Moo tour bus. I mean, pillows and beanbag chairs are fab for when we’re parked and prepping for a gig, but what about when we’re driving? If the driver slams on the brakes because she suddenly noticed a Krispy Babee Kreme shop, we’re all gonna be SOL, jostled and squished, and I bruise easily!

  96. “Meowser, your comment made me curious about the author, because reading such ridiculousness I imagine in my head someone as diet obsessed as Anne Coulter or Janice Dickenson or Mememememe Roth. Otherwise what woman is so judgmental yet self confident that she would want to pick on a beautiful younger women with a lovely figure as being somehow insufficient in the looks department – and then hold that same beautiful girl to be failing in some way for having that figure and look?”

    Ann Coulter is extremely thin, but so far I’ve never seen her go about yelling about diets or fat girls – did I miss something?

    As to the sexes, women are often the most openly critical and even angriest about other fat women, maybe because they’re the most diet-obsessed or just jealous of other women. Ruth Fowler anyone?

  97. how come no one ever blames the ‘daddy’ gene when it comes to girl’s insufficient figures?

    Eh? EH?

    I got my boobs from my dads side. I suppose that isnt counted as a drawback though.

  98. Mickey, how about a double-decker tour bus? Upper deck: Pillows/bean bags, margherita mixer and such, for those who like to feel every movement of the bus and want to live the reckless, rockstar lifestyle; lower deck: firmly adjusted comfortable seats, tea, coffee and baby-flavored doughnuts. Of course, I’ll see you upstairs where the party’s at! *headbang*

  99. ‘You’ll never conquer your own aprehensions about your body while actively disparaging another woman from showing hers off, no matter how fat or thin it is.’
    I think Buff wrote this? Too tired to go look for it.

    I would love to have that waist since I’m like a board with little bit of boobage. I look very androgynous when I had short hair and have been mistaken for a boy or a young man before. My style was usually some variations of jeans, shirts or T shirts with trench and scarf in fall. Many of my friends were young gay men so I think I unconsciously dressed like them. I felt very good in that look but I feel like being more feminine and am trying to retrain myself to be more diverse in my perception of self. Just typical changing stages of life.

    BTW Belly dancing is very good for the soul and the waist. For the ladies out there who have narrow hips and hardly any curves, belly dancing makes you aware that you do have hips and can roll them and move them!! I can also feel my waist!! I feel more womanly!!

    I love this body because I’ve been through so much within her and she is a loving gift from my parents but sometimes I do wish I had some hips and waist. But then I remember that everybody always wants to tweak something about themselves because of the women/men bashing media so I just go, meh, and go eat smoked bbq rib tips or ribs. BTW, I love southern wood smoked bbq!!! YUMMM. I’m so lucky there are 2 places I just adore not too far from my place. Yay!!! I love chicken and waffles too, as well as sushi, korean, dimsum, thai, sechuan, and oh so many many things to try.

    I hope the cute princess is enjoying her food and not paying attention to these nasty evil witches who are trying to tear her and her mother down for money and spite!!!

  100. “She can’t seriously think she’s above the same sort of (bullshit) criticism; so why is she aiming that gun? Does she think that she’s immune? Does she not see herself loading a gun and pointing it at HERSELF?”

    Well, Arwen, she’s pretty bright, so I reckon she has to, but I did my best to point it out to her anyway – since she plainly thinks the rest of us haven’t noticed.

    ” If they wish to add a bogus deflection claiming they’re only concerned about public health and skyrocketing obesity levels, or if their post contains any kind of diagnosis of the woman in the picture as unhealthy, overweight, or obese, then their unretouched, natural-hair-and-makeup, candid vacation photo in poor lighting to be posted for general critique will also be nude and/or taken while the poster is eating”.

    SCG, I’d like to add the rider that they submit a two week food diary and gym log and, furthermore, publish their BMIs, blood glucose, cholesterol and any other relevant numbers to prove their glowing health and complete immunity to the march of time and/or ever dying.

  101. Foxish: My campers will just have to deal with being blinded by my pale, pale stomach.

    Yay! Mine too. :D I don’t suppose your camp is anywhere near NYC…?

  102. “I think it’s more likely that this basic shape isn’t as common in Asian women — i.e., it’s genetics, just like I said.”

    I’d be careful with claims like this. This line of reasoning has a long and sordid history: “Japanese intestines are too long so meat cannot be digested,” “Chinese articulatory organs are unable to properly pronounce English,” etc. My current favorite: “Asians cannot digest milk and are lactose intolerant” (except for the milk in every Japanese school lunch nationwide, the ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, and the filling of the choux cremes at Papa Beard).

    At any rate, perhaps there are not many Asians in your town, but I’m from Los Angeles, and Japanese and Chinese are bodywise indistinguishable from “Americans” (whatever that means). Koreans and Vietnamese tend to be more recent immigrants and have not assimilated to American food lifestyle quite as much.

  103. Gah.

    Interesting that it hasn’t occurred to Ms Platell that, as a loving mother, Fergie perhaps doesn’t want Beatrice to drive herself nuts obsessing about her body and striving for some arbitrary “ideal”?
    Just maybe, Fergs has told Bea that she’s beautiful as herself and that she should take care of her health so she can concentrate her energies on things that are IMPORTANT?
    I read the article that AnnieMcPhee linked and it sounds to me like Beatrice is a young woman who has been encouraged to develop her skills, talents and personality.
    As a UK taxpayer, I’d rather not pay for the royals at all, but I would rather money went to a princess who worked hard at school and is described as kind, than someone who is only valued for their conformity to some supposed template of perfection.
    The public didn’t love Princess Diana for her looks (though I acknowledge her prettiness and love of fashion helped), they loved her for the image of a kind and concerned person she projected, which is why Princess Anne is popular.
    Good luck to Bea, she seems like a good sort and I hope she can enjoy her position and use it for good, and rise above this kind of hateful “journalism”.

  104. Stephen: “I’d be careful with claims like this.”

    Could you also, respectfully, be careful with your as-yet-unfounded theories that, in your words, “weight gained in the thighs tends to stay, rather than some people just have fat thighs to begin with”? Or that society should be willing to call a “truce” on fat-hatred with adults but still acknowledge the Childhood! Obesity! Crisis!? I mean, by all means, if you have a testable hypothesis, go out and get funding and design a well-designed study and test it and publish the results. As people have done with the fat-genetics link already. But until then, I just don’t understand your interest in running your theories up the flagpole on a fat acceptance site? I just don’t think a lot of people are going to salute.

  105. “I disagree with the idea that muffin top, or whatever you want to call it, is so perfectly avoidable. Not in my experience it isn’t. Maybe if I wore suspenders and/or only waistbands above the belly button, but I’m not willing to make that sacrifice to save the world from my muffin top.”

    I’m with you here. When I’m *naked* I have a huge muffin top. It does not matter what kind of pants I wear — muffin tops are impossible for me to avoid. I wish people didn’t hate muffin tops so much. :(

  106. I think Stephen thinks we’re being racist. Racism: a subject rarely discussed on the fatosphere.

    *headdesk* and sarcasm off.

    Just as a matter of interest dairy produce rarely, if ever, features much in the typical Thai diet. It took my sister quite a while to adapt to a western diet and develop her current love of cheddar cheese, which she thought was quite disgusting when she first tried it. But her thighs o’ doom? There well before she adopted a western diet. There well after she adopted lamentable western get-fat-then-diet habits. Just there, y’know?

  107. I’d be careful with claims like this. This line of reasoning has a long and sordid history: “Japanese intestines are too long so meat cannot be digested,” “Chinese articulatory organs are unable to properly pronounce English,” etc. My current favorite: “Asians cannot digest milk and are lactose intolerant” (except for the milk in every Japanese school lunch nationwide, the ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, and the filling of the choux cremes at Papa Beard).

    Honestly, there is a difference between saying that people from certain ethnicities are more likely to have certain body features than people from other ethnicities (and it is always about the average person, not about the individual) and saying that people from certain ethnicities are biologically unable to pronounce English. In a lot of countries I would be considered rather tall, here in the Netherlands I am average. Also, I have dark blond hair and blue eyes which is rather usual where I come from, however, in many parts of the world it wouldn’t. People with different ethnic backgrounds differ on average in how their bodies look like – the differences are not absolute, particularly not in an age where many, many peope have a mixed ethnic background, but to claim that they don’t exist would be simply ridiculous.
    This does not mean that European women are “allowed” to have large hips because it is natural for them while East Asian women are not, it simply means that East Asian women might be less likely to have large hips (I don’t have conclusive proof for that) – but even if this is the case and someone is an East Asian woman who has hips larger than average for her ethnic backgroud her body is just as okay and acceptable as everyone elses.
    Oh, and for lactose intolerance – no, not every Asian is lactose intolerant, but as far as I know the rates of lactose intolerance among Asians is higher than among Europeans – and my Asian friends agree with this. This is another example how a specific bodily trait is present in all populations but occurs at a higher rate in cultures that traditionally did indeed not have a lot of dairy in their diet.

  108. I think Stephen thinks we’re being racist.

    Actually I have the suspicion that it’s worse than that… I might be wrong, but it sounds to me that Stephen is using the racism claim to silence us or to convince himself that we are not to be taken seriously.

    But just to make this absolutely clear: To claim that certain biological traits don’t occur more often among people of certain ethnic backgrounds than others is ridiculous. You don’t need a study to see that this is true for some traits. And it is not racist to say so. What is racist is to claim that a body type typical for people of one ethnicity is better or more beautiful than the body type of a another ethncity – and I don’t think anyone here has done that. It were even more racist to claim that there are differences in cognitive abilities among races. This is why the “Chinese people are not biologically equiped to prounounce English” claim is so bad – while it does not refer to Chinese cognitive abilities it comes really, really close to it. But using the ridiculousness of that statement as an example to discredit the discussion here is either incredibly stupid or incredibly disingenious.

    (Sorry, I got a bit worked up on this one.)

  109. Yeah, Stephen. I have a list of “People most likely to be racist” and Kate Harding’s #2, just pipped to the post by the editor of the Daily Mail. You have to keep an eye on that girl — she’s tricksy.

    Thank god you’re here to point out the equivalence between the scientific fact that 90-100% of Southeast Asians and Asian-Americans carry genes for lactose intolerance and the racist belief that Chinese people were too “different” to us to be able to pronounce English correctly. The fact that you genuinely seem to view the two statements as comparable in no way harms your attempts to try to bring reason to the crazy fat people. Keep plugging away there.

  110. But using the ridiculousness of that statement as an example to discredit the discussion here is either incredibly stupid or incredibly disingenious.

    Especially since Stephen is the only person trying to make blanket claims about Asian women’s bodies: “We really don’t see thighs like that here in Asia.”

  111. FYI, I’ve a comment awaiting moderation due to links.

    Also, At any rate, perhaps there are not many Asians in your town, but I’m from Los Angeles,

    What you see out your front room window is not a basis for an argument. And even if it were, Kate lives in Chicago. Chicago’s Asian population is ~120,000 (to LA’s ~350,000, but then LA has about 800,000 more people). It has the third-largest Southeast Asian population in the country.

    Bzzt. Try again.

  112. Stephen- WTF? I live in Toronto, which has a large percentage of people of Asian ancestry. They tend to be thin and willowy, with fine bones; significantly smaller than people of European and African ancestry that have grown up in the same neighborhoods, with similar habits. How can you possibly deny the fact that ethnicity and family genetics influence body shape? That’s absurd. I have a friend who was adopted as a baby from Korea and raised by a family of large people in small town Michigan. She still turned out 5′-0″ and a size 0, and believe me, she isn’t a restrained eater.

    A higher percentage of Asians are lactose intolerant, as are many Africans and southern Europeans. It’s a medical fact, not a stereotype. Being lactose intolerant doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t eat dairy. It means that eating large amounts of it can cause stomach upset and gas. I have a mild version of it myself, and I still eat dairy, but milk and cream in particular upset my stomach, and so I consume only very moderate amounts.

  113. <the obesity that drove her to despair and wrecked her marriage

    As opposed to the fact that she married into an antiquated monarchy in one of the most classist nations on the earth, and was likely chosen for pretty much the sole purpose (not to put to fine a point on it) of bearing healthy male heirs, and had to live in fishbowl for years.

    Nope, it was the obesity.

  114. I look at that picture and see a beautiful woman. And then, sadly, the realization dawns on me that even if her thighs were half their size she’s be critiqued for something else. There is no such thing as being “perfect”. Perfect doesn’t sell papers.

  115. As most folks, I’m a visual person. So my eyes are drawn to the pictures and my first thought was, “What a gorgeous woman! I am sexually attracted to her!”

    (Okay, so I pretty up the language a bit because, hello, trying to keep my status as a semicoherent literate here)

    Then I read the excerpt from the article and go, “Dude, Article-Writing-Person? Deal with your own issues in therapy, not in a national newspaper.”

  116. OMG, sweet machine, I almost forgot the exact wording of Stephen’s initial comment. And he thinks WE are the ones generalizing on this issue? Someone please stop the horrible, horrible pounding in my head. I guess generalizing based on what you “see” is OK if you’re indicting American society for making people fat, but positing that there is any genetic basis for body type is racist.

    SCG, I’d like to add the rider that they submit a two week food diary and gym log and, furthermore, publish their BMIs, blood glucose, cholesterol and any other relevant numbers to prove their glowing health and complete immunity to the march of time and/or ever dying.

    I’m in favor of this. It only seems fair given that the same folks are usually magically able to determine exactly which health problems the woman in the photo either has now or will have in the future, based solely on whether they like the looks of her thighs.

  117. Wow, that’s… a lot of replies. (Why am I shocked? This is SP!) Here are my thoughts, in convenient list format:

    1) Bea is one truly pretty princess. I absolutely love her figure. Fat, schmat.

    2) We should all send photos of ourselves in bikinis to the woman who wrote the article — maybe she’ll figure out the difference between “fat” and “not size 0.” Further, maybe she will also figure out the difference between “fat” and “ugly.” A bikini campaign would give me the perfect excuse to splurge on the very expensive bikini I’ve been coveting, so… who’s with me? :D

    3) [Insert various textual representations of outrage here: BLARGH, GRRRR, ACK, etc.]

  118. Oh, and also? I have a bit of a muffin top no matter how well my pants fit. It is, as someone said way up there, just the fact of the matter: the tops of my hips are a bit wider than the bottom, I have flesh on my lower back, and I really dislike high-waisted pants. I don’t let my ass hang out or anything, but well-fitting pants that hit me just below the navel will create a muffin top no matter what. Also, panties/bikini bottoms do the same thing. So meh. Meh, I say.

  119. I don’t have time to read all the previous comments as my time is running out on the library computer. The article is absurd! In the first place, women with fat on their hips and thighs have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes! In the second place, her body is perfection as far as helping the human species survive throughout all the obstacles we face. The author is probably just trying to druge up diet customers. Still anyone who writes this crap, and anyone who reads it and agrees are a true burden to the human species. When they start kicking folks off the lifeboat, they need to be the first to go!!!

  120. Sorry, but body types do generally vary by ethnicity. I’m of Western European descent and used to live in Japan, and there was no mistaking my body type for that of the typical Japanese women. I was 5’9″, large-framed, broad-shouldered, with size 10 feet, and measured 39-26-39. I wasn’t bigger because of a “typical Western diet”, as I’ve never partaken in the “typical Western diet.” I’m a vegetarian who grew up on whole foods diet and was rarely allowed to eat sugar. I was bigger largely because of my genetics. Even the heavier women in Japan tended to have narrow hips and small breasts, while gaining around their waists. I’m the opposite type, gaining in my breasts and hips rather than my waist. Plus, there was no getting around the fact that I was at least six inches taller than the average woman in Japan, and that my shoe size was many sizes larger than what is typically sold in the country.

    It’s silly to claim that it is racist to notice that many Asians have a slighter bone structure than many Westerners.

  121. It seems to me that if Bea is confident enough to wear a bikini, emerging Venus-style from the sea for all to see, that she’s tough enough to take what the Daily Mail can dish.

    I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but I wonder what she weighs? I ask because I feel like, at my weight, I wouldn’t dare to wear a bikini, but I don’t think I’m any heavier than Bea. Man, I would love to be that confident.

    And Sarah? Also a real beauty. I know we all have our preferences and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I really appreciate a curvy, busty, body. Yum!

  122. This is only partly related, but…

    Have you ever noticed that in most of those trash tabloid articles about best and worst beach bodies, most of the “bests” are dry and most of the “worsts” are wet? That’s because NOBODY LOOKS GOOD IN A WET SWIMSUIT. Regardless of your gender, age, size, muscle tone or general overall attractiveness; regardless of the style, construction, fit or cost of the suit, regardless of how TOTALLY FUCKING HOT you look when it’s dry, you will be about as sexy as a dirty sock once you hit the water. Any support the suit gives you goes bye-bye once it gets wet, your hair becomes limp and messy, you’re probably going to be all squinty, since you’ll be outside in bright sunlight, and you’re probably not wearing any makeup, either. Yeah, that’s a great look for everyone.

  123. She has a gorgeous shape, and noone should give her shit about that. I hope she ignores them all.

  124. Ah, Fergie. I am not old enough to remember when her troubles with the media began, but I wish she’d been ballsy enough to say “I’m sucking royal peen, you are not.” Or at least thought that to herself.

    Funny how a bunch of losers calling you fat seems to outweigh almost everything.

  125. This whole thing continues to amuse me, because do you want to know what I grew up hearing and knowing about Fergie? I grew up hearing and knowing that she wrote some of my favorite books — when I was a kid I loved the Budgie the Little Helicopter series to death, and it fascinated me the way the author’s name was written: It didn’t say “Sarah Ferguson” on the cover, it said “HRH, the Duchess of York.” I thought she must be a terribly romantic, brilliant person. And to be honest? I still think that. Those books were awesome.

    So, uh… in sum, I can’t think of a better person to rock HAES, you know? Especially since she seems to have taught her daughter to rock it as well.

  126. All the dieting in the world isn’t going to make Bea a hipless, thighless twig. I’ve been a slight pear shape all my life, even at the height of Treehorn Syndrome.

    Or, as Sam Saboura puts it in his book Real Style (which I really liked even though I, personally, think whisker-wash jeans are crap), “No amount of dieting and exercise in the world will turn the lush curves of an Oprah into the lean-limbed grace of an Audrey Hepburn. And you don’t have to.

  127. I have to admit, my first thought when I saw the article was “Oh gods, she’s *nineteen*? Where the hell does the time go?”. Yeah, nineteen, and looking damn good.

    By the bye, the reason her bikini top looks too small may just be because it is. Being an E-cup type myself, I have a lot of trouble finding suitable bathing suits for my rack o’doom. To the point where next summer (it’s coming into winter here in .au now) I’m going to just wear one of my old Bodywise bras and a spare pair of leggings rather than try and find a pair of bathers which fit. I figure it’s a fair retirement for the leopard-pattern bra, after all.

    Oh, and just to let blnkfrnk@gmail.com know – the UK Daily Mail is also against anti-royalist sentiments as well.

    [My opinion on what wound up causing the demise of Andrew Windsor and Sarah Ferguson’s marriage: a massive case of clashes of expectations. There’s what he expected of her, what she expected of him, what his family expected of each of them, what her family expected of each of them, what was expected of them by the press, what was expected of them by the public, what was expected of them by his job, what was expected of them by her job, and what they each expected of themselves. At some point, you have to be willing to say “okay, I can’t live up to this”, and to be honest, I’m glad to see the two of them were psychologically mature enough to be able to say “this marriage isn’t working, how about we divorce?” That their divorce was amicable, and that the pair of them are still friends, says a lot. For an example of how *not* to handle things, have a look at the first marriage of his elder brother.]

  128. I know this is coming in later, but just in case anyone sees this:
    I live in Australia, and today while standing in line at the supermarket, I flicked through one of the trashy women’s mags. It had the same picture of Beatrice, plus a few others taken the same day. The focus of the article? How she was having fun and looked so much more happy and comfortable with her body than her mother.

  129. Awww, Maggishness. That’s awesome.

    McLeod’s Daughters and intermittent fat acceptance: what can’t Australia do?

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