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Kaitlynn
6th April 2006, 03:13
I was really delighted to read this in a new BBC article. Author J.K. Rowling (who is known to children the world over for her mega-selling Harry Potter books) has delivered a stinging critique of starving fashion models. And she didn't pull any punches.

This is especially helpful, I think, because of the influence she has on her fans. May her words help keep all of the young girls who read her books from inflicting diet-starvation and exercise-torture on themselves.

But now, if J.K. Rowling really wants to back up her criticism, she should write a beautiful, plus-size young girl into her next Harry Potter book. And perhaps even allow her to become the wizard's love interest. And then, most important of all, get the director of the movie to cast a curvy actress in the part. (Christina Schmidt? She'll be the perfect age for it!)

But for now, at least it's a great statement. Here's the link to the article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4878958.stm

And here's the text:

Rowling slams 'emaciated' models

Wednesday, 5 April 2006


JK Rowling has criticised models whose "only function in the world appears to be supporting the trade in overpriced handbags and rat-sized dogs."

The Harry Potter author said her daughters, Mackenzie, one, and Jessica, 12, would not be "empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones."

Writing on her personal website the Edinburgh-based author hit out at those who promote thinness.

She said she was sick of seeing models who suffer from eating disorders.

She said: "It started in the car on the way to Leavesden film studios.

"I whiled away part of the journey reading a magazine that featured several glossy photographs of a very young woman who is either seriously ill or suffering from an eating disorder (which is, of course, the same thing); anyway, there is no other explanation for the shape of her body.

"She can talk about eating absolutely loads, being terribly busy and having the world's fastest metabolism until her tongue drops off (hooray! Another couple of ounces gone!), but her concave stomach, protruding ribs and stick-like arms tell a different story.

"This girl needs help, but, the world being what it is, they're sticking her on magazine covers instead.

"All this passed through my mind as I read the interview, then I threw the horrible thing aside."

She added that some people at the recent British Book Awards were more interested in her weight than her latest book.

"So the issue of size and women was weighing on my mind as I flew home to Edinburgh the next day," she said.

"I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny, a thousand things, before 'thin'."

Modette
6th April 2006, 06:39
Yes, I read it on both Sky, BBC, The Sun and Mirror and I'm really pleased that it's been posted in so many places. It's great that she's speaking out.

HSG
7th April 2006, 02:29
"She can talk about eating absolutely loads, being terribly busy and having the world's fastest metabolism until her tongue drops off (hooray! Another couple of ounces gone!), but her concave stomach, protruding ribs and stick-like arms tell a different story."
Rowling's comments are extremely welcome, and her trenchant tone is both justified and necessary. All too often, the forces of size celebration have been cowed into submissiveness when criticizing the mass media, and have hesitated to point out just how unnatural the modern standard of appearance for women really is. Rowling's vigorous critique exposes this standard as a grotesquerie.

It is the a testament to the hegemonic power of the media that the physical features which Rowling describes--a <i>"concave stomach, protruding ribs and stick-like arms"</i>--seem terribly unattractive when she describes them so precisely. And yet, the media successfully dupes millions of women into thinking that these features are somehow "ideal," and that the opposite features--i.e., a <i>"generous waist, voluptuous bust, and full arms"</i>--are somehow more objectionable, even though they are intrinsically both more natural, and more attractive.

But Kaitlynn is right to point out that Rowling's critique is only effective up to a point. When CNN reported her remarks yesterday, the news segment (predictably) featured images of precisely the same "emaciated clones" that Rowling condemned. Images of plus-size beauty (as healthier alternatives) were conspicuously absent--as always.

Kaitlynn's suggestion is spot on. Rowling has a unique opportunity with her books to help correct the very problem that she has identified. Let her introduce a female character into her Potter series who exhibits a <i>"generous waist, voluptuous bust, and full arms,"</i> rather than a <i>"concave stomach, protruding ribs and stick-like arms."</i> Let this character be presented in a way that will make her appealing to young readers. And then, most important of all, let Rowling insist that this character be portrayed by a beautiful <i>plus-size</i> actress, when the book is adapted for film.

If she does all of these things, then Ms. Rowling will be able to sleep soundly, knowing that she has demonstrably helped to solve the problem that she has pinpointed so accurately.

The glamorous side of Christina Schmidt (by Toronto photographer David Leyes). Timeless beauty is surely a work of magic . . .<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/cs/leyes05b.jpg"></center>

Micki
7th April 2006, 17:35
Not only could JK Rowling include a voluptuous female character in a future Harry Potter book, she could insist that a full-figured young actress play the part when the movie is made. The only problem I foresee is that making sure the actress is both plus-sized and attractive, not a caricature of what the typical Hollywood casting agent thinks of girls who wear double-digit sizes; ie. dumpy, clumsy, socially inept, etc. The fenale character should be beautiful, confident, and possibly a love interest now that Harry is entering adolescence.

Modette
9th April 2006, 06:41
"...a thousand things, before 'thin'." I really liked that line! It is worrying that so many young women would rather be thin than intelligent. I think it was also BBC or Sky News I read that on.

Xin Yi
11th April 2006, 07:36
JK Rowling is definitely someone with the power to make positive changes in this area. I adore her! She has only one book left in the series in which to include a plus-size female character, though. So we'll see...