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Published: Wednesday March 25, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday March 25, 2015 MYT 1:08:52 PM

Who are you calling fat?

From fat-shaming to waist-shaming, these are the body issues making headlines. Our columnist weighs in.

Fat is not a feeling. Remember that, Facebook.

The social media giant recently un-Friended the “fat” option from its list of “feelings” available as part of its status feature. This was in response to a Change.org petition which gathered almost 17,000 signatures; the hashtag #FatIsNotAFeeling also spread over Twitter and Facebook.

“We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders,” said Facebook in a statement, adding that the option did not fit the spirit of its “How are you feeling?” prompt.

The rosy-cheeked, double-chinned emoticon had been one of 100 emotion options offered, appearing alongside more typical fare like “excited” (a smiley face with stars for eyes) and “blessed” (a smiley face with a halo).

American playwright Catherine Weingarten and Endangered Body (a group campaigning against negative body image) were behind the protest.

Weingarten’s petition statement read: “As someone who has struggled with and overcome disordered eating, I know what it’s like to ‘feel’ fat. I have spent years of my life consumed with negative thoughts about my body, and far too many days starving myself in an effort to lose weight.

“But even worse than the skipped meals and the hours spent obsessing in front of the mirror was the fear of what others thought about me and my body.

“Fat is not a feeling. Fat is a natural part of our bodies, no matter their weight. And all bodies deserve to be respected and cared for.”

Facebook has since contacted Weingarten that the status option and accompanying emoji have been removed, and replaced with the more neutral “feeling stuffed”.

Meanwhile, pop singer Kelly Clarkson was thrust into the limelight when she became the subject of fat-shaming jibes.

After watching Clarkson perform on a talk show, British TV personality Katie Hopkins tweeted: “Jesus, what happened to Kelly Clarkson? Did she eat all of her backing singers? Happily I have wide-screen.”

And it didn’t end there. When social media users tried to defend the American Idol winner, sharp-tongued Hopkins — who also pens a column — added: “Look chubsters, Kelly Clarkson had a baby a year ago. That is no longer baby weight. That is carrot cake weight. Get over yourselves.”

Clarkson, who gave birth to daughter River Rose last June, was naturally asked about Hopkins’ comments.

“She’s tweeted something nasty about me?” wondered Clarkson, 32. “That’s because she doesn’t know me. I’m awesome!

“It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will.”

The Because Of You hitmaker continued: “I’ve just never cared what people think. It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good, that’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family – I don’t seek out any other acceptance.”

We’ve heard of fat-shaming, but what about waist-shaming?

That’s the peculiar conundrum faced by the new Cinderella film. It is making a lot of moolah at the box office, but moviegoers are obsessed with the heroine’s waist – or lack of one.

Some have hit out at the “unnaturally small” waist of Lily James, who plays the title character. The 25-year-old has revealed that she was on a liquid diet during filming while wearing a tight-fitting corset for the role.

People are wondering: did Disney digitally alter her waist to make it appear even smaller? One Twitter commenter wrote: “Boycott #Cinderella by Disney for making Cinderella’s waist disturbing to look at and setting up unrealistic expectations” while another described her waist as “nearly non-existent”.

However, the costume designer who turned James into a fairytale princess confirmed the actress really does have a tiny waist – but it was exaggerated by her blue gown.

Sandy Powell, who has won three Oscars, said the volume of the skirt, broad shoulder ruffles and corset produced an “optical illusion”.

Yours truly have seen the movie, and no, I wasn’t distracted by this whole waist hullabaloo – which, frankly, is a waste of time, if you ask me. Rather, I was taken by how beautiful the Swarovski-laden ballgown and glass slippers were. And I like its takeaway message: “Have courage, be kind.”

In this day and age, it seems that you can never be too fat – nor too skinny. But shouldn’t one’s body issues be her own matter to deal with?

We have enough problems at hand, and unlike Cinderella, we don’t have a fairy godmother to come to our aid.

■  The new Cinderella is fanciful, but William still prefers Ever After (the Drew Barrymore version). What about you? Send feedback to star2@thestar.com.my.

Tags / Keywords: TheNewBlack, fashion, columnist, body issue

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Size matters: Does our fairytale princess need a sandwich? Some moviegoers have hit out at the ‘unnaturally small’ waist of Lily James, who plays Cinderella. Photo: AFP

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