Way Harsh

Why can’t I sleep at night?
Don’t say “It’s gonna be alright”
I wanna be able to eat spaghetti bolognese
And not feel bad about it for days and days and days

In the magazines, they talk about weight loss
If I buy those jeans, I can look like Kate Moss
I know it’s not the life that I chose
But I guess that’s the way that things go

Lily Allen “Everything’s just wonderful”

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the honest way three of my favourite singers have described their experiences with body dysmorphia and the way harsh way that the public and media have judged them on their appearances.

In Lily’s Allen memoir “My Thoughts Exactly”, she openly shares how speculation and criticism about her talent, looks and relationships fuelled a cycle of addiction, starvation, anxiety and self-harm. Lily would go to great lengths to lose weight before a photo-shoot; binge-drinking to induce dehydration and therefore look more-defined or even knocking herself out with sleeping tablets for 3 days because if she wasn’t awake-she couldn’t eat. The skinnier she was, the more praise she seemed to get.

Likewise, Taylor Swift in the documentary “Miss Americana” talks about how comments about her weight and speculation about whether or not she was pregnant in the press, led to her overexercising and under eating.

“I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine,” she says “And the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’ And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach not look flat. So, I just registered that as a punishment…. You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”

Singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch’s memoir “Your Own Kind of Girl’’ takes us through how childhood grief and loss played out in an eating disorder and in her early toxic relationships. She also introduces us to her inner critic and what it was telling her as she cycled through fad diets and breakups with her on-off boyfriend.

“From a very young age Clare was forced to grapple – explicitly – with the toxic idea that her weight was the major barometer of her worth. It wasn’t just that kids teased her for being big. Adults called her fat too. To her face. When she lost weight, her primary school teacher and mums of her friends asked for photocopies of her diet. She was treated differently. It was clear she was better liked when she was thinner. The warm glow of approval was intoxicating. But it was also unsettling for her young mind: she was the same person regardless of the number on the scales so why was it such a big deal? It set in motion a vicious cycle: constant dieting, binging, self-loathing. It went on for years”. Women’s Agenda: Clare Bowditch: Her own kind of girl (the kind of girl we can all learn from)

All three musicians share how healing it is for them to create and share music, words and projects that reflect their own experiences honestly and how these resonate with others. I can say that reading, watching and listening (I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Lily’s book in her lovely London accent) to these performers made me question why we are so harsh with our appearance based judgements, especially towards women. Instead, we should simply enjoy the art they create without being snippy speculators about who’s too fat or too thin. I applaud their vulnerability in sharing which will greatly help others with similar experiences.

Love and light and it’s hard out here for a b##ch xxx Yvette

Check out iweighcommunity.com for radical inclusivity and body positivity

https://genius.com/Lily-allen-everythings-just-wonderful-lyricsLily Allen, “My Thoughts Exactly” (2018) https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/40949782-my-thoughts-exactly“Hard out here” Lily Allen video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0CazRHB0so

“Miss Americana” Official trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40RsbcFRwNAClare Bowditch,”Your Own Kind of Girl “ (2019)  https://clarebowditch.com/

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4 thoughts on “Way Harsh

  1. Thanks for the blog Yvette! I’ve just finished the latest Hilary Mantel book about Thomas Cromwell called ‘the mirror and the light’. Nine hundred pages about Henry 8th and his wicked ways. Kept me off the streets! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Size / Shape shaming sux!
    Thanks for highlighting.

    Mediums of song , and even litreature are being pushed by this Insta/SC/TikTok lyf as much as film and fashion. The underlying creativity is the inspiration that should catch us … not the shiny exterior.

    Word Up Yvette !

    Markus

    Liked by 1 person

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