Hey Mia, You fucked up.

I was scrolling through my twitter feed at about 3pm. I needed a break from my first day back at work after a delightful holiday in paradise. There were funny GIFs, celebrations of new job opportunities, links to know blog posts, all the standard stuff. And then. There was a tweet, that quite frankly left me aghast. Let's take a step back. You might of seen it, or at least heard about it in the last few hours. Is the name Roxane Gay familiar? If you are in one of my circles, most of you would be nodding your head. If not, well she is a radical feminist, an amazing author, a public speaker, and an all around bad ass. She also happens to be fat. But of course, thats certainly shouldn't be the leading statement, or even part of the discourse when discussing her successes, or her books. Her appearance, realistically, should have little to do with the fact that she has been on a bit of a book tour, to promote her new book Hunger.

So,  back to the tweet. A screenshot of a podcast. A podcast that I have never listened to, or to be honest, even knew existed. The image, was of a synopsis of the 55 minute podcast No Filter with Mia Freedman. The founder of Mamamia, an Australian lifestyle website. It said this "Will she fit into the office lift? How many steps will she have to take to get to the interview? Is their a comfortable chair that will accomodate her six-foot-three 'super morbidly obese' frame?". I had to read it twice. The first time, I was sure that I had misread something. That this wasn't reality. But, my eyes hadn't failed me, I wasn't in an alternate universe, and I hadn't fallen asleep at my desk. This shit was real. 

So of course, I did what any millennial [ish] would do and I googled "Roxane Gay and Mia Freedman" and found an article, which had been published on Mamamia, but was only available on a web archive because it had been deleted. So of course, I read it. [you can too... here]. There were even more details like the above, more considerations that needed to be made. But what made it even more fucking frustrating for me was the justification for sharing the information. "I would never normally breach the confidentiality of what goes on behind the scenes while organising an interview but in this case, its a fundamental part of her story and what her book is about."  I mean, come the fuck on. Because Roxane is a fat woman, you can breach her confidentiality? Fuck off. I didn't think that I could be more angry than I was. Honestly is that what was being said? Or was I being sensitive, because of my own biases and backgrounds. Who knows. All I know, is that I was pissed.

I am so fucking sick of society talking about women's bodies. About people passing judgement on size, shape, colour or anything fucking else that has literally not one thing to do with them. I am frustrated at the reality that society thinks that they have the language, and the imperative to tell me, and other women around me, what to do, how to be and how to live. Its infuriating. As a fat woman, I have experienced this in hoardes. The unsolicited diet advice, the awkward stares when I am walking down an airplane aisle, people just praying they aren't sitting next to the fatty and of course, the concerns form the majority about my health, because obviously being fat means I am unhealthy as fuck. I want to write about this more, seriously there is so much more that I want to say about it, perhaps a series coming up maybe?

But back to the point. The podcast. I decided to listen. Because you know, that made sense to me. If you are going to, please don't listen to the first 6 minutes or so. Its painful. But once Roxane starts speaking about her book, and her experience its great. But then of course, Mia brings up the "extra things she had to do to prepare for this interview". I took a deep breath. And continued, mostly because I love Roxane and wanted to listen to the rest of it. But then. It happened. The thing that made me want to flip a fucking table. Mia Freedman starts talking about the fact that Roxane wouldn't let her film the interview, or take a photo because of her body. This was all conversations that were had offline. I dunno about you, but it feels icky as fuck that this was then discussed on the internet. Ugh. Of course, Roxane handled it with grace, talked about the harassment that she faces as a fat woman with images of herself on the internet and even defended twitter, in that it is not the problem its the trolls and the assholes that are. Touche lady. 

Of course, Mamamia have issued an apology since the article was released. Personally I think the apology is bullshit. It is one of those "we are sorry she was offended" type of statements. They state that they are a publication that champions body diversity. I smell a rat. When, at any time, has that type of publishing been championing anything other than bullshit judgemental societal constructs. The apology once again discusses the 'additional requests.' When will they fucking leave it alone? Seriously, why does this warrant any discussion? In my opinion, it doesn't. At all. It all feels fucking gross to me, and becomes another representation of a media outlet using the feminist label to reach a niche, and then doing something that's at complete odds with their 'manifesto'. Icky I tell you. Icky. Let's be honest here, all she asked for was a sturdy chair that didn't have arms. Amen sister, I need one of those suckers too.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh how awful. I feel her on the chair situation. My last job interview I only *just* fit into the chair and was so uncomfortable the whole time.



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