"Covered up her fuller figure"
These are the things you are likely to see if you read the news around Lady Gaga today. Supposedly she put on 30 pounds, no wait 25, or maybe it was 20, fluctuating by news source (the higher the number, the more sensationalist the journo).
Regardless of the number, I can't say I care. What I do care about however is how the likes of the Daily Fail and other such 'reputable' news outlets think it is ok to talk about people in such a way, and better yet, even think it is a story, because it is a total non-story.
This is the same week as the media attack on Kate Moss for showing her non-concave belly and an article showing a seriously emaciated picture of an anorexia sufferer in the misguided attempt to show people that recovery is possible. (If you ask me, it was to find a way of getting a seriously emaciated picture in the press, when they couldn't give a damn about recovery, but that is for another day)
How about some real news for a change?
We live in a media saturated society where for some reason, this sort of thing sells. Why people revel in it bemuses me. The fact is, if people were not interested in it, the media wouldn't print it, which brings my first question from this, is it actually us that need to be educated?
I notice it all the time, people buy magazines and newspapers specifically to revel in this stuff. But it doesn't end there, the fact is we can't escape it. If we are not reading about it, we are talking about it, hearing about someone's latest diet, seeing the cosmetic surgery ad's everywhere we look, or hearing a friend put down their body in a fleeing attempt to gain reassurance that they are in fact, normal (whatever that means).
We think terms like fat, fatty, porker and ugly are good words to use when describing people, they have become the prime insult when you are looking to put someone down. We find it acceptable to print it, say it, talk about it and throw it around where everyone can hear it. It is not a surprise that they are attacking Gaga in this way, they do it to every celebrity we see, but that doesn't make it okay.
Possibly the most insane comment I have seen yet "Despite her weight gain, she was still polite to her fans". Because of course, your weight dictates how polite you are, the slightest bit of gain and you turn into some angry, evil monster. When the media go on their pointless attacks like this, it only reinforces our beliefs that it is ok to think like this, talk like this and point fun at people because of something so insignificant.
But then there was Gaga's response, a series of pictures to prove that she has not in fact put on all this weight. Now, while it is great to see people showing off their bodies, does this really set the best example? It is like saying 'I now feel like I need to prove they are wrong', and with the massive teenage following she has, is this just fuelling the fire even more?
It is important we celebrate our bodies, show them off when we want to and love it for what it is, without fear of repercussions. But all this has done, if anything, is given them more to take a stab at, they have achieved it, they have made her insecure. Having previously spoken in public about her disordered eating and then following it with tweets about 'celebrities not eating' as some kind of kudos, she does already send a lot of mixed messages to her audience.
I am not saying she was wrong to do it, it is pretty empowering to get your kit off and flaunt it. But it does say something about the impact these rubbish comments have had on her and undoubtedly her audience. What I do know, is that are we really that celebrity obsessed that we really have nothing better to do than absorb this. It may seem like a little celebrity story, but let's think about the impact it has on society, what does it say about us consuming it and what kind of example are we setting for the next generation?
There is one thing to end this, from Gaga herself that sums up most things wrong with this...
"To all the girls that think you're ugly because your not a size 0, you're the beautiful one, it's society who's ugly"
Follow Nick Watts on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nickinoxford