Glossy Covers: Magda Szubanski lands third Weekly cover

Glossy Covers: Magda Szubanski lands third Weekly cover
The Australian Women's Weekly: April issue. My copy has little Prince Willie in the corner!
As I pen this post, Paula Abdul's "Promise of a New Day" is on the radio. How apt! Magda Suzbanski is now an (almost) annual cover fixture for The Australian Women's Weekly, which has been tracking her metamorphosis from bubbly-tubby Kath & Kim comedienne to weight-loss pin-up over the past four years (her first cover March 2008; her second August 2009). What we find in this issue is a lighter (metaphorically speaking), freer Szubanski, on the cusp of her 50th birthday, who is unaffected by others' perceptions of how she looks.

Of the paparazzi snaps of her on the beach in January, she tells Wendy Squires:

"I actually love the beach photos. Honestly, I really do. I think it's great to be photographed the way I am. My body shape is very normal for an awful lot of people. I am what I am and I'm not ashamed to be long as my basic health parameters are sound, I am happy. I think it has done a lot to take some of the pressure off this ridiculous obsession we have with perfection. People can see I've made great progress, but I have not become something I am not. I am still real. And I'm still trying. I don't know if I will lose more weight and I am not about to make any promises. It just doesn't matter... I'm doing my best and that's all I can do."

And all the women said...ahhhh.

She also gives credit to the therapy that has helped her work through her layers of issues:

"Getting across the benefit of therapy is important because I am aware there is a lot of shame surrounding it in Australia. It's like, in life, we are running the program, but not looking at the system and it's such a shame. I discovered so much that has helped me, like understanding that when you experience an emotion, you don't actually feel it, you just feel numbness, so you go and eat or whatever. It's like the concrete poured over Chernobyl – it's all still under there. So, you go and feed your face and you don't know why. It's when you dig under the feeling that you discover the cause – be it sadness, anger or whatever. My response mechanism to why I eat is so much sharper now. I can say, 'Oh, that's why I overate yesterday. I was feeling shy or anxious.' Whereas before, I simply had no idea and kept going. The benefit of therapy is you get more real the more you do. I now feel like I'm a train barrelling towards authenticity. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going but I'm sure I'm on a good path... I know people are watching to see if I fall, but for me the answer is, 'Yes, of course, I will, but I will get up again."

Fantastic stuff. Emotional enlightenment is an empowering thing.

Szubanski also talks to Squires about generational hardships –"My grandparents hid Jewish people in their basement and went to resistance meetings in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, where the penalty for hiding Jews was death".

On that note, the story on Nigella Lawson – she of the chocolate brown eyes and hair and voluptuous figure – provides an interesting juxtaposition.

Lawson, 51, in Australia earlier this year for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, talked to Nina Myskow about her mother's eating disorder battles and early death from liver cancer (she was 48).

"When I was growing up, my mother had eating disorders. Thin-ness mattered a lot to her. It was anorexia and a period of bulimia, I think, I can't be sure. She became a pusher of food and family meals were a source of great stress, an endless power struggle. I vowed I was never going to be like that."

Lawson also opens up about the fact neither of her husbands have been able to appreciate her passion – food: her late husband, John Diamond, died of cancer of the mouth and for the last three years of his life couldn't eat food; her new husband, Charles Saatchi, is an obsessively healthy-eating dieter (and, ironically, smoker): "One husband who couldn't eat my food and one who won't." 

But Lawson is comfortable with her body image:

"If I lost 40lbs [18kg], I would age 10 years straight away. That's my excuse! But you know women find it very easy to persecute themselves over their weight and whenever I've said, 'I ought to lose a bit of weight', I can guarantee I'll put it on. I love food and I love cooking, so therefore I could never deprive myself. Thin-ness is fantastic for clothes, but I don't do fashion...The only thin part of me is my waist, so I need to have that and my ankles and wrists on show. Frankly, I'm built like a shot putter!"

Of course, April brings us Easter, and so too does The Weekly's April issue, which is choc-full (ha) of advertising for chocolate-y things (lactose free, no added sugar, nut free bunny, anyone?) and pages of melt-in-your-mouth recipes and hot cross buns. The issue also comes with a bonus Country Classics mini cookbook with a chocolate pudding cover that can't be missed.

If only food weren't such an obstacle for women, we could get on with having fun and celebrating the liberating act that Easter is ultimately about.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Girl With a Satchel


Carla said...

Did you get the cooking classics as a subscriber?