Lady Gaga: Why are we picking on her weight gain?

Stop the press: pop star gains weight. Although we're used to seeing stories about celeb weight fluctuation, to taunt someone with a history of eating disorders is inexcusable.

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The Independent Online


In the same week that UK papers splashed pictures of a shockingly emaciated anorexic in a bid to show that recovery is possible (not the way to do it), the same publications launched a scathing attack on a celebrity known to have a history of eating disorders, for having the audacity to gain weight and flaunt it.

Reporters were more shocked by Lady Gaga's weight gain than the fact that she smoked Marijuana during a performance, labelling her “Porker Face”. The “decidedly meatier” singer “covered up her fuller figure” (wore a coat) after her concert in Holland, where she shamelessly flaunted her larger waist, thighs and face in a corset which was equally meaty. Mmm, meat. Nutritionist Majid Ali, who, we are kindly assured, has not treated the singer, told RadarOnline: 'Gaga appears to have gained at least 30 pounds.' Good to know (though, in the next article it was actually just the 25lbs – who cares?)

But, most jaw-droppingly, gob-smackingly and outright absurd of all was this: “Despite her weight gain, Gaga was polite to her fans”. Because, ladies and gents, if you weren't already aware, there runs a direct correlation between ones body fat percentage and their ability to remain polite.

It is almost impossible to comment on the above without sounding like Brian Blessed in a Guinness World Record Attempt to fit the most expletives in one blog, but I shall try my best.

I know, it's no surprise to any of us that the press will point out the slightest fluctuations in weight; Kate Moss has also been under fire this week for daring to show off a non-concave belly whilst enjoying a holiday, but then she got her tits out so they took to taking long-lens snaps of those instead. But, and this is a huge but, that does not mean that an attack such as this on any person's body or weight is anything close to acceptable.

How on earth can the people who come out with this utterly obscene claptrap sleep at night, knowing that people will read, compare their own bodies to Gaga's and think 'Well if she's fat, what the hell am I?' This doesn't just go for young, vulnerable and impressionable teens; this applies to older, mature, intelligent women and men too. Like it or not, that is what happens and will continue to happen if we let irresponsible, morally inept 'journalists' write, and pathetic, careless editors publish such rubbish. Something really needs to be done about this, and the sooner, the better.

What really bothers me isn't just the initial onslaught of weight-gain articles themselves (those with disgusting captions describing every inch of Gaga's flesh as though she is no more than a piece of meat hanging in the butchers), although they do, to the point of me actually feeling so enraged that I can physically feel the fury rising in my chest. It is the less obvious articles that follow that we should be most worried about. The first ones are all shock and speculation, but those that follow, and the language used in them send messages that are potentially far more dangerous.

There seems to be a collective sigh of relief amongst writers the second Gaga appears wearing a coat. 'Thank God, she's covered up her (disgusting) curves! At last! And so she should!' They exclaim in unison, thankful that they don't have to look at any more mini-muffin tops (healthy amount of organ padding, aka tummy) or love handles (natural, child bearing hips). Perhaps the relief is down to the fact that they've run out of insulting puns, but either way, they all move on to mouthing off about how well she's disguising her new figure. Even with a new tattoo adorning her shaved head, the poor love can't escape attention being cast upon her hidden curves. We're thrown excuses as to why she has gained much weight and what she's going to do about it. All this says to us, though, is that it's not OK to gain weight, it's not OK to eat (or enjoy) Italian food and that if we do happen to put on a few pounds, we should do everything in our power to keep it hidden and when people do notice, we should immediately revert into diet mode. It's all absolutely ludicrous.

To write in such a way about someone who is known to have a history with bulimia is just sickening and wrong - beyond words really. Imagine if the same people wrote in the same way about the girl they have coined 'Britain's worst anorexic' (a title I have massive problems with – but that's a whole other piece - anorexia is a competitive illness and this kind of label only encourages that).

Imagine if they analysed her 'now' pictures in contrast to her 'before' pictures to the same degree and with the same level of insensitivity and stupidity as they have done with Lady Gaga. They wouldn't dare, there would be outrage – so how and why is it OK in this case? It isn't, it never has been, it never will be and anybody who does publish articles which dissect, destroy and attack another person's body should be ashamed of themselves for as long as they live.

“To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” Lady Gaga