I’ll tell you a secret. I’ve got quite big boobs. To many, this is not news. (Indeed, thanks to the No More Page 3 campaign, hopefully, soon, Boobs will not be News at all.) However, to some of my friends whom I have known long enough to remember when periods were EXCITING, my boobs are occasionally hilarious. Probably because until I was about 17, I wore an A or B cup. I was, as my friend Vic once put it, “a little shnip”. That may or may not be Yiddish. Then what seemed like overnight, I grew boobs. And hips, and all of a sudden I looked very different. (I also had a mullet at that time, which may or may not have contributed to the looking different, but luckily, that was wayyy pre-facebook.) Anyway, apparently it’s still comedic.
Anyway, up until that point, and indeed, around that time, I had never entertained the notion that I might need to lose weight, even though I had put on about a stone in 2nd-wave-of-puberty-bits. (Indeed, that point only came when I was 18, and at some point in the middle of our gap year, my friend Katy and I realised that eating biscuits with chocolate spread was not doing us any favours. Nor did that entire month without fruit and vegetables. Good times.) It was just not something I was concerned with. But many of my contemporaries, who were all around the same size as me, were utterly convinced that they needed to. Bus journeys to school would inevitably feature the girl that everyone was scared of saying “I’m so fat” (she wasn’t) and everyone else bleating “You’re not, you’re not, I’m so fat!” (they weren’t). Once she proclaimed that, “All girls think they’re fat”, to which I responded, “I don’t”. “That’s because you’re tiny” she snapped. I remember thinking, what the fuck. Not one girl I knew was fat. Not one needed to lose any weight. Those were the days when we were forced to do PE, so it wasn’t like we were even unfit. But still, Scary Bitch had a point. It seemed like it was part of our Lady-N-A (clever, right?) to believe we were overweight. As though it’s just as much a part of coming of age as Bat Mitzvahs and bras.
BIG NEWS, FRIENDS. IT’S NOT.
So, today I would like to talk about weight loss. Because obviously, with it coming up to summer, and what with being a female (pronounced like the dad on Friday Night Dinner, obv) the shedding of a few pounds must obviously be on my mind.
As I write this, I am sitting in the library at uni (Central St Martin’s if you must know – and you must), researching trends and topics that I believe fall under the umbrella of “superficial feminism”. If you know me IRL, you will know that I am, shall we say, heavily interested (pardon the pun) with body image, and the effects on your body that the media exploits…etc etc… During my research today I came across a document outlining WeightWatchers’ valiant plan to increase revenue by like 30000000% in 2010. Sadly for poor WW, people didn’t seem to trust them as a brand. People thought it was only for severely overweight people. Imagine! Sensible, educated people thinking they might not need to diet!
It’s just rude isn’t it, when a consumer exercises their rights by simply not buying a product because they don’t believe they need it. (And bear in mind, diet-sympathisers, WeightWatchers is a product. If it were a solution, or perhaps only existed as a temporary process recommended by doctors, the diet industry would not be worth TWO BILLION POUNDS IN THE UK ALONE. Put simply, if WeightWatchers, or indeed any faddy diet, or paid-for process which told you what to eat, how to eat and which brand of blender to mush it together in actually worked, they would not keep making worth billions. Because people would be slim. And they would keep the weight off. And the horrible process of dieting wouldn’t induce bingeing, creating guilt, meaning the diet needs to be started again. But enough of that, perhaps I’ll expand in another post, if you’re interested.)
So in brief, WW decided to infiltrate our lives, casting off the shackles of a weight-loss product, but transforming themselves into a beautiful, healthy lifestyle choice. Among other sketchy tactics, they began to advertise to a younger audience via their TV channel choices, they bought slots on foodie channels (because apparently nowhere is safe). Basically they used their advertising prowess to make it normal to diet.
This is INSANE.
So next time you find yourself thinking, I could lose some weight, just think of those sea units sitting round a board table, planning our demise. You’re probably NOT fat. You’ve probably just seen too many WeightWatchers ads.