The row over remarks branding the champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis “fat” escalated today as other female athletes spoke of similar taunts.
The comments were reportedly made to Ennis’ coach last year by a high-ranking official in UK Athletics who also said she was “carrying too much weight”.
The 5 feet 4 inches poster girl for Team GB who is one of the best hopes for Olympic Gold, weighs 8 stone 13 lbs. today she laughed off the remarks about her famously honed physique, reportedly made to Tony Minichiello. “Its not something I worry about. I can just kind of brush it off and ignore it,” she said. Fellow athletes today sprang to Ms Ennis’ defence. Team mate Louise Hazel branded the remarks “ a disgrace” and said she had been subject to similar harassment about her weight.
“It’s not a nice feeling to be called overweight. Some people think that you have to look like you are completely emaciated to actually be in physical shape and that’s not the truth,” she said.
I read this and immediately this blog came to mind, and how the bodies in my posts are defended by some as being “athletic”, and the redraws are derided as showing “chubby” or “fat” women, because this story really calls to mind those attitudes and how in our sexist, fatphobic culture, we’ve become so paranoid of women being overweight and “fat” that we’re even losing sense of what an athletic woman’s body can and DOES look like.
And the thing is, having an idea that the ideal athletic women’s body should necessarily, always be thin and slender leads to what’s becoming more common with women who have an eating disorder and that’s exercising AND starving yourself, because of the fear that if you just starve, you won’t get lean, and if you just exercise, you’ll get thick and bulky. (This is exactly the attitude I had, when I would literally not eat and run 4 hours a day.)
Anyway, this is really screwed up, when even athletes in peak physical shape are too “fat” appearing for our ideas of what fit, healthy women should look like.
Edit: This is not saying that “fatphobia is bad NOW when it’s at these obviously thin women”, this is me pointing out yet another example of fatphobia in our society and how screwed up our ideas of women’s bodies have become that we don’t even know what athletic women’s bodies should look like anymore.
Absolutely crazy. Really, when I was struggling to find pictures of what I mean by being ‘like unto a superhero’ I don’t know why I didn’t think of olympic athletes. Not that I imagine that I’ll get olympic athlete fit, but, when it comes to having a body type to aspire to, I think it’s a pretty good start. Compared to the rest of us, these ladies are superhuman.
EscherGirls is absolutely right.These are the sort of bodies that should be represented in superhero art. And if you were wonderng what Louise Hazek and Jessica Ennis look like, let me help you out:
Louise Hazel = like unto a superhero.
Jessica Ennis = like unto a superhero.
They even have superhero costumes.
And ‘carrying too much weight’? Wat? Having 0% body fat is not the ideal, these ladies are.
Damnit - I meant to post this to this blog in the first place. FAIL.