embrace the sisterhood, and the manhood.

by Danielle Kent

It is quite stressful being a girl – you have to work harder to earn less, have periods every month until you are expected to grow a child (and if you don’t grow a child then you’re automatically selfish), make sure that your lipstick isn’t on your teeth, all while ensuring you don’t gain a single pound because that may offend a lonely, single middle-aged man on Twitter. Oh, and don’t forget that after you have completed all of these steps, you aren’t allowed to feel stressed because that may mean you’re being over-dramatic, attention-seeking and hormonal.

A few weeks ago, Jameela Jamil wrote a blog post which discussed how girls judge one another based on their size. She stressed how important it was for girls to support each other and relax their issues with their own weight. Here here! Plus, unlike an array of celebrities that ‘eat whatever they want and never work out’; Jameela has a gorgeous, natural and healthy figure. Therefore, if all girls practiced this tactic – and let’s face it, we would all be happier if they did – then there would be no problems, right? Wrong!

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Today, the Daily Mail wrote an article on ex Big Brother contestant, model and cake shop owner Chanelle Hayes’ three stone weight gain – and she looks awesome. You would think that the public would be pleased, or at least ambivalent, about Chanelle’s new figure. It is great to see a woman in the public figure talking openly about her weight and embracing the fact that her body has changed with motherhood, and it isn’t the be all and end all. Unfortunately, not everyone thought so. ‘omg what have you done to yourself u look dreadful (sic)’ was one comment that was tweeted to Chanelle since she appeared in the Daily Mail. Surely this comment would have been sent from a flawless, size six, five foot eleven supermodel though? Erm, quite the opposite – a middle-aged, balding, slightly overweight man in fact. Geordie Shore’s Sophie Kasaei was left feeling ‘fat, ugly and disgusting’ when Twitter trolls taunted her about her size – ‘It’s never from girls – they are always really supportive,’ she said. ‘It’s young fellas who are the worst. They think nothing of going on Twitter and just saying, “You’re fat.” Why are we suddenly in an era where it is okay for a random man to criticise girls on their weight?

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This comment came just a few hours after I received a similar observation on my size, after making a completely off-hand joke about only being able to find size four clothes in the Miss Selfridge sale – ‘u talking shit ur like a size 18, no bitch had tits tht big being a size 4 (sic)’. How nice of you to go out of your way to share your thoughts with me, Mr overweight, crude, racist, illiterate man on Twitter. While there is nothing wrong with being a size eighteen, I struggle to find where my size is any concern of his. Someone obviously needs a hobby.

It is very concerning when it is men who begin criticising the looks of women. What are they being subjected to which makes them believe that women aren’t allowed to eat until they are actually full and go out of the house without wearing make-up? I have even been told by my own (male) boss that I looked like I was pregnant and could do with losing some weight. When did this become appropriate or relevant? I worked behind a bar! While we are all taking the time to analyse one another, I can’t help feeling that these men would be very lucky to date someone as stunning as Chanelle. Obviously, it is a confidence thing. Obviously, they are unhappy about their appearance, social-life, career, etc, if they have the time to harass women with harsh comments about their weight. So, while I’m all for embracing the sisterhood, maybe we should open this group up a little to include the men too! If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

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