I don't want to be a conduit for the type of discussion that speculates about a young woman's weight, so apologies for bringing up the subject, but as you're in the public eye right now, you make for a good point of reference for something that's been on my heart (gawd, that's such 'Christian speak', sorry) and mind for a while (yet another media hack using you to generate content – yay!).
Really, I'm just tired of ALL talk about weight and body image and the media, as you would be, too. Because the sad thing is that the more we talk about it, the less room there is in the media/public forum/online for talking about all the OTHER great things that women are doing... that don't include losing weight or putting it on.
It is so frustrating being a female media consumer right now: what feminism gave us in the way of equal rights, we're sabotaging by giving unequal attention to stuff that really doesn't matter (nobody ever got to their death bed and wished they were skinnier). We are absolutely developmentally stifled – on a creative, intellectual, emotional, relational and spiritual level – by the superficial discussion that focuses on our bodies.
I have put on 6-8 kilos in six months (let's celebrate that for a second – whee!). One of my biggest frustrations in this process of recovery and weight-putting-on, as my mind has gained back clarity relative to each extra kilo, has been the media's celebration of weight loss, but I've also been disenchanted by the way discussion about diets/body shape/exercise permeates almost every conversation I have with another woman/women. What the frig?
My sister has battled her own body demons, but has also been one of my saving graces. She put on a little weight (she's still on the small side, like my mum) as I kept losing and losing and losing it, defiantly loving her new body shape and giving away her little-girl clothes after being a super-skinny mini during her teens and young adult life. She finally relaxed and her body naturally took the shape it was meant to be, still exercising (not madly) and eating well, but not punishing or denying herself in the process.
And, you know what? She has become the most vibrantly exciting person to spend time with – her conversation alive with witty observations; her lust for the new insatiable; her creativity unstoppable; her beauty glowing from within. Her glorious personality has come into full fruition. She is more caring. She cooks my dad lovely meals. She has more to give because she is feeding and nourishing herself on every level.
One of the things I love about picking up my copies of Good Weekend or The Age's A2 section, flicking through an interiors mag, reading a new work of fiction or non-fiction (or returning to an old one I love), visiting a beautiful crafty blog, playing at the markets, trying a new recipe, seeing a film with a friend, dancing around with my nieces or hearing a church sermon on a Sunday is that they are devoid of all the toxic drivel that stifles my spirit and recovery. In fact, I often find I spend my weekends fuelling up on these things, only to feel depleted of all inner resources by the week's end. Big BOO to that.
Really, I should be allocating time every day to fuelling up on the good stuff of life. Some people do that naturally; some of us have to learn to do life properly, while operating within the economic/cultural forces that dominate society and say you're only as good as the work hours you've put in or the pay cheque you've earned or the number of blog posts you've written or the number on the scales.
So, Gemma, don't worry for a second about your weight. Developing your character and interests and relationships are a far worthier pursuit. Defiantly ignore the crap and, as with my sister, everything will come into a lovely alignment as you start to become the beautiful, three-dimensional Aussie girl you were designed to be – the post-Vogue Gemma is sure to be just as lovely.
Girl With a Satchel
P.S. I'm thinking about having a 'no body talk' month on GWAS. What think you? Is it even possible given the blog's context? For further inspiration, let's revisit India Arie's wonderful "Video".