There’s something rather tedious about JK Rowling jumping on the eating disorder bandwagon. Skinny birds are so easy to pick on. It’s true that if you spend any time in an office where slim twenty-somethings obsess about their diets, it does kind of do your head in. But it’s also true that people seem to think they can throw any level of insult at slim people… something you can’t do to poor old fatties.
With 36 per cent of girls obese or overweight and a quarter with clogged arteries, Rowling and her ilk send out very mixed messages at best. At worst they endorse the lifestyles responsible for one of the greatest healthcare challenges we face.
It may well be normal to be fat, in the sense that it’s hard to write off a third of the population as abnormal, but normality isn’t necessarily something to be proud of. Obesity is debilitating and fat people die young.
Rowling’s right that some people suffer for their desire to be thin. But associating thin girls with being ‘empty-headed, self-obsessed’ and fat girls with being ‘independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny’ is little more than body fascism.