Thursday, April 06, 2006

Another reason to love J.K. Rowling

On her official website, the mastermind responsible for Harry Potter has a thing or two to say about the pressures many girls feel to be way too thin. Here's a snippet that will hopefully entice you to read the rest.

I was talking to one of the actors and, somehow or other, we got onto the subject of a girl he knows (not any of the Potter actresses – somebody from his life beyond the films) who had been dubbed 'fat' by certain charming classmates. (Could they possibly be jealous that she knows the boy in question? Surely not!)

'But,' said the actor, in honest perplexity, 'she is really not fat.'

'"Fat" is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her,' I said; I could remember it happening when I was at school, and witnessing it among the teenagers I used to teach. Nevertheless, I could see that to him, a well-adjusted male, it was utterly bizarre behaviour, like yelling 'thicko!' at Stephen Hawking.

His bemusement at this everyday feature of female existence reminded me how strange and sick the 'fat' insult is. I mean, is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I'm not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain...

It gets even better from there, so as they say, read the whole thing. Here's a link to this wonderful little rant at the "text only" version of the site — you can also access what she wrote in the Flash based, much cooler looking version of (Note: you'll need to temporarily disable any pop-up blocking software in order to open it).