A celebrity put on a few pounds and the media responds by calling her fat. Hardly surprising.
She responds by posting half-naked pictures of herself on her site and confessing to the world that she has suffered from anorexia and bulimia since she was 15, thereby launching the Body Revolution, and is praised (in more headlines) for her bravery and honesty.
Okay, you’ve maybe caught my attention. We just moved, are currently cleaning out one house while trying to unpack the other, and I can’t find my Xanax, so I’m a bit caught up in my own head right now. Forgive me if all I can spare is a nod of encouragement for Lady Gaga and her Body Revolution because I get it, she gets it, you get it, and we could totally all relate together and tell each other how beautiful we all are without really believing it of ourselves because that is how the eating disordered mind works. I’m a fan and have been for a long time, but I’m frankly too busy with life to jump on the bandwagon knowing she won’t ever see my words. I am prepared to let her die-hard fans, the Monsters, rally themselves up in her defense, having truly connected with the knowledge that she is just as broken as so many of us.
More power to you, Gaga.
So maybe this is newsworthy to me. But I still debate. Do I write? Why bother when so many others have said so much? I’m not a celebrity and I never will be, but I’ve been talking body image and eating disorders publicly for the last three years now and have wrestled with the idea of being part of the problem while trying to be part of the solution. Every headline printed, posted, and liked on Facebook will inspire just as many as it will trigger others because that is also how the eating-disordered mind works. And there are boxes to unpack and my Xanax is missing because my ADHD is always the punchline. I think about asking one of my writers if they are free to handle this one so I can go be anxious in peace when Beth, one of said talented writers, posts a link to a Jezebel article for the rest of us to see.
The article is meant to praise the Gaga and chastise the various unnamed outlets for calling her meaty and distorting photos to exaggerate the 25 pounds the singer has admitted to gaining since her father opened an Italian restaurant. Gaga is lauded for her taking an ugly moment and turning the moment she was the target of “weight hate” into an opportunity to spread a message of tolerance and acceptance. But my eyes focus in on certain (and most probably unintentionally ) slanted language and I wonder if I am the only one feeling like I just got a back-handed compliment about how pretty my face is considering the size of my ass.
My Cliff Notes take on the Jezebel piece was that the media is mean for calling a woman fat who isn’t actually fat. The insensitive bastards. How dare they?
And then this portion of the Jezebel article (italics and emphasis my own):
Gaga has always claimed to be all about her fans, and by involving them in this, she makes a very important point: She’s just like them. Some other celebrity might sue a publication for calling her fat; Gaga’s fighting back by taking the high road, by showing the world that it’s not okay to critique her body — not because she’s a pop star, but because she is a human being, with feelings and a history of eating disorders and we can, and should, do better. By posting these homemade, raw, here-I-am-with-all-my-flaws (not that we see any) images, she shows that her struggle is the same struggle millions of other men and women have everyday: Learning to love yourself just the way you are, finding and believing you are beautiful when the media is hellbent on making you think you’re fat and ugly (and that fat is the same as ugly).
Not that we see any?
Because even in defending Gaga for her honesty and bravery and acknowledging the millions of men and women suffering from body image issues and eating disorders who now have a champion and how it’s not okay to critique Gaga’s body, Jezebel, you were looking for flaws.
Just like everyone else.
And that, my friends, is why the monkey keeps chasing that stupid weasel around the mulberry bush.
Viva la Revolucion, Gaga. I’ll be in your corner if you need me.