The Fat and the Furious

pic winslet

Hold the boat! Just hold the fucking boat, will you? You see thanks to a rather stupendous creature called Glosswitch I’ve been alerted to an article that appeared on the Daily Telegraph’s website yesterday. It was about that bottled essence of Englishness otherwise known as Kate Winslet and was entitled Kate Winslet: I don’t obsess over my weight. So far, so blah. Then came a single standfirst which did more damage to my brain than PND, PTSD and a breakdown put together. It read: Kate Winslet has revealed she does not obsess over her weight because she believes it’s more important to spend time with her children.

Okay, okay, deep breaths… Seriously, I had to read that three times because on each occasion the piss-flapped stupidity of it exponentially stunned me. Then, giving Winslet the benefit of my burgeoning doubt, I read on. In said article, based on an interview she gave to Time Out, she says, “I don’t want to spend time thinking about the size of my arse. I want to be healthy and I want to have as much fun as I can have. I want to be around for my children. That’s it. Those are the priorities. Not getting a flat stomach”.

Well right now, Kate love, my priority is to not leap through my laptop monitor to kill the first person upon whom I land. You see, I am at a staggering loss as to how a woman maintaining her weight has anything to do with the time she spends with her children. I have no idea why Winslet didn’t say that she’s not bothered about the size of her arse because she’s just happy with the way she is, because she believes that women come in all shapes or because she’s refusing to buy into the Hollywood ‘norm’. Instead she attempted to equate her refusal to weight-obsess with how much she wants to be with her children.

Well, fuck me. That’s one hell of a message to give to all the other mums out there isn’t it? In fact, after years of women being bullied into size six jeans within a month of giving birth, now our ability to do just that is a reflection of how much we can’t wait to abandon our kids for a set of weighing scales. At what point did the rolls of fat on a woman’s belly equate to how much of a mother she is to her progeny? Really, if there are any scientists reading this perhaps you could rustle up an equation that correlates the two because I’ll be fucked if I can get my head around it.

Perhaps this now means that slim mothers are selfish mothers, because they put a morning run or a trip to the gym before their toddler’s need to coo at their own potty contents. More than that, this must mean that obese parents are the best kind of all not least because they have dedicated every non-dieting, non-exercising moment of their lives to providing their children with a rich and exciting childhood. And there I was worrying about my size 18 arse when really it should be a badge of honour because it proves that I put my child before my own lifespan.

Seriously, equating a woman’s need or ability to lose weight with her need to be with her children is not just idiotic, it’s fucking dangerous. Apart from the staggering amount of pressure it puts upon women to not starve their kids of affection for the duration of a 45 minute aerobic class, it forces parents to feel even more selfish for taking that little bit of weekly time and exercise that stands between them and the local psychiatric unit (and believe me, with my mental health problems I should know).

All of which makes me wonder what else I should be giving up for my child. My thighs went out of the window years ago so instead I could proudly pronounce things like, “I gave up taking showers because it’s more important that I watch my child staring at the telly!” or “I haven’t had a shit in three weeks because my daughter wanted me to chip tiny bits of wood off the coffee table with a fingernail!”. Then again, I did try that once didn’t I? It was giving up my sanity so that Kraken Junior could constantly see her mum’s face. Ooop, there we are back at the psych unit again.

So no. Just no. If a mum wants to be thin, fat or anything in between that is a personal issue for her, not an outward measurement of how much she cares for her kids.  And nor should women be forced even further into explaining their actions as parents. Is it so wrong for a mother to do something for herself and fuck the kids? Like hell it is. That’s why this is one time when Winslet should keep her mouth shut. For once it’s not her hips that are (bewilderingly) a national issue, it’s her lips.

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7 Responses to The Fat and the Furious

  1. Yvonne-Claire says:

    At first I was wondering why you were having a wee rant, then I read some more and yes you’re spot on! WTAF does a mums size have to do with how well or how much fun or anything of that ilk their children have? ‘sridiculous *nods*

    A mum is a mum. no matter what size they are ffs.

    I may make no sense, I just finished a 15 hour night shift from hell. I need sleep, lots and lots of sleep….

  2. Emma says:

    Uh, talk about overreacting. You completely missed Kate’s point. She’s saying she wants to be healthy enough to be around for her kids but she won’t go overboard with the exercising. A flat stomach isn’t the first thing on her mind. She’s not saying moms who exercise a lot are abandoning their kids. She’s talking about her own motivation to exercise – having a flat stomach is not a very pressing issue for her and she’s content with simply being healthy enough to be around for a long time for her kids.

  3. C says:

    Jesus F Christ, you’re really stretching on this one. She didn’t saying that maintaining her weight is the opposite of spending time with her kids. She said that obsessing about it is.

    In her position the media would expect her to do extreme diets, extreme training, whatever it takes to get her “pre-baby body”. To which she says a hearty “fuck you” and continues with her life. And for that you vilify her? Really? Why?

    Starlet obsesses over getting back to her old shape, you get out the pitchforks. Starlet specifically doesn’t obsess about getting her old shape, and you … get out the pitchforks. Is it because she’s happy? Is she not allowed to be happy? Is she not allowed to be free from the all-consuming body issues around which you shape your life?

    You say that she’s not obsessing over her weight for the wrong reasons. That there is only one “right” reason and that reason is to make an example of how women come in all shapes and sizes. She is supposed to say she’s not obsessing over her weight because she’s happy with her weight? What if she isn’t? Who are you to say?

    But whether she is or isn’t is immaterial. What she has done is that said, body issues be damned, the most important thing is her kids. And you just can’t seem to wrap your head around somebody actually wanting their kids, actually coping with them and being happy about their existence. Somebody who has achieved the ideal you so angrily pretend to strive for.

    It’s all a bit damned if you do, damned if you don’t with you, isn’t it?

  4. HelpfulMum says:

    Surely she is simply saying that there are more important things in life to her than watching her weight? I don’t see a problem with what she has said. Ultimately she is saying that she wants to be health, happy, have fun and spend time with her children. I can’t see where she says that people who are thin do not love their children or enjoy spending time with them. I choose to exercise when my children are asleep because then I do not take away from any time with them. That’s my personal choice.

  5. Am says:

    Clearly she needs to be more like Bridget Jones…oh, wait…

  6. michelle says:

    I hate to disagree with your assessment but at no time in the article is she actually quoted as saying she doesn’t obsess about her weight as she is too busy looking after her children. She says it isn’t one of her priorities to obsess about her weight and then lists three reasonable things that ARE her priorities, only one of which is to “be around for [her] children,” which even there isn’t the same as being too busy looking after her children. She also cites wanting to be healthy, and having as much fun as she can as priorities. Sounds pretty good to me. I don’t see where she went wrong.

  7. michelle says:

    oop. Looks like I messed up the italics in my last comment.

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