I don’t read The Daily Mail, it’s a tabloid type of publication which writes stories that I’m not interested in. Anyhoo, I was alerted to an article they wrote about me on the iVillage website after iVillage tagged me on twitter. Please read this article here.
Intrigued, I then did a little Daily Mail search of myself to see what else they’d been up to and found that they’d sent a paparazzo up to Noosa to take creepy shots of my husband and I kissing poolside. I also noted that they pretty much pilfer any instagram shot I upload and write some meaningless story about me, usually with the words “slender, super skinny, thin” etc. What got me thinking the most and is probably the reason that I’m writing this, is the constant discussion of my body shape and the yo-yoing of stories such as “Rebecca shocks with scary skinny instagram photos,” to “Rebecca looks healthier while showing off her new curves in response to public backlash”. Firstly, curves? Yeah I wish! Lastly, the latest story published just days after the “Rebecca sports healthy body shape.” is “Has Rebecca lost weight again? Rebecca appears to have shed a few kilos while showing off her decidedly trim pins.” REALLY? So they’re suggesting that in a matter of days, I’m too thin again and have miraculously shed kilos? Guys- get a grip.
Firstly, this is not news. In a world where ISIS is on the march, Ebola spreads like wildfire and planes are being shot out of the sky, bikini shots of me and discussion on whether I’m too thin or not IS NOT WORLD NEWS.
Secondly, media organisations are so powerful in the way they influence our social conscience. The way society talks about topics, the language they use and the perspective they take. To have a publication like The Daily Mail continually judging women’s bodies (yeah not men’s- funny that hey?) has a flow on effect in society. Likewise the discussion of body types on our own chat shows (Today, Mornings, Sunrise etc.) has a similar effect.
We wonder why there are so many nasty, negative internet trolls out there and we also wonder why so many women have body issues- ummm, probably because they read The Daily Mail.
I understand that The Daily Mail is a business and needs to give it’s audience what they want, and if a headline is about a high profile person’s weight then for some strange reason, everyone clicks on it. I urge media organisations, especially The Daily Mail, to take some social responsibility and be better role models into discussions about body type and health (or even better, stop discussing people’s bodies altogether- it’s none of your business and it’s certainly not important). In order to curb the growing trend of people judging one another based on appearance, how about our media organisations lead by example. Lets not use women’s bikini shots and tell the audience that someone’s too thin or too fat and thus that makes them a bad role model. I would argue that the only bad role models are the media organisations continually judging these body types.
Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people are naturally thin, some people are naturally bigger, some people are more athletic in tone, some people have minimal tone. We are all different and we are all NORMAL. This is the message we need to project, not “Is Rebecca Judd a bad role model for being thin?” Seriously? (Oh yeah and lets ignore the fact that I’m never sick, am super fertile, have delivered 2 x big, healthy babies, have the energy to work a million jobs and have ALWAYS looked like this shall we?).
Lets educate our children on what it takes to be healthy- that is a good diet and exercise. Let’s not educate them on how to bitch and judge other women’s body types. If you’re skinny or bigger but you’re healthy, that is all that matters- that needs to be the message.
Finally, I note that these Daily Mail articles are all written by women. Women judging women- what’s new? I also note that I’ve never seen an article or a discussion on tv about a man’s body type and whether they’re a good or bad role model? Why is it ok to publicly judge a woman’s body and not a man’s? I know heaps of men who exercise until they vomit, are obsessive eaters and have far lower body fat percentages than my own but that’s ok, they’re men, it’s fine. What a cop out.
I’ve worked with some of Australia’s most famous women who are celebrated for their curvier and more athletic body types. You know, ‘real women’ (eye roll) kind of stuff that the media just love. It’s ironic because I’ve seen some of these women pre-work event, starving themselves, exercising obsessively and stressing about being ‘too fat.’ In contrast, I’ll have my breakfast croissant with jam and cream and a strong latte (full cream milk thanks) yet I’m supposedly the one with the eating disorder? Ok then. Remember, being thin is a body type not an illness. When was the last time you ‘worried’ that a thin man had an eating disorder or that he was being a bad role model? That’s right, you didn’t.
Pic above is of my sister and I at 32 weeks pregnant with Oscar. #skinnygenes