A word of explanation is necessary about my column, The Rules, as it appeared in Melbourne’s Age newspaper this Sunday on the subject of the marvellous Rebel Wilson (and which I’ve run in full below).
The M section does a lovely job each week, splashing my column with the celebrity picture and then supporting it with some pics of suggested merchandise to get the look.
These items are sourced and selected by the excellent stylist Erin Munro, who does a brilliant job, with a very short deadline from getting my copy, to when she has to supply the pictures to the paper.
It’s a tricky ask, because the merchandise pictures not only have to be right for what I’ve written, they have be a specific format – flat photos of the garment, not on models – so that the page can maintain its design cohesion from week to week. And the stuff has to be in stock in the shops the day the newspaper comes out.
The thing is, not all brands supply these pictures – and as it turned out this week, it was impossible for her to get a suitable shot from any company that makes dresses over a size 14…
So to all the readers who have protested about us using a picture of a dress that doesn’t go beyond this limited size to illustrate a column about a fabulous woman who is definitely bigger than that – we can only agree and apologise.
And if any of you are connected with Australian fashion retailers which sell larger sizes and have flat lay photographs available at short notice for editorial use – please get in touch.
Now, here’s the column – which runs every Sunday in the Age and the Sun Herald and which you can read online each week here http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/the-rules-to-thyself-be-true-20130613-2o6vs.html
The Rules by Maggie Alderson
Rule: to thyself be true
How much do I love Rebel Wilson? Words fail me, that’s how much. But I know someone who loves her just as much, if not more: Rebel Wilson. And I mean that in a good way.
I’m not saying she’s a moi, moi, moi and did I mention? moi kind of a girl, but that she’s a grown woman with a healthy regard for herself. She has what we all want for our daughters – high self-esteem, meaning that she holds herself in high esteem. No wonder she was the first actor to be cast in Pitch Perfect – as in the box office name, who would bring the punters in.
From her first moment in the film, when she turns up in front of the stand for the all-girl a cappella group at the freshman activities fair at Barden College, she owns the screen, because she owns the body she’s standing in. No apologies.
She was hilarious in Bridesmaids too – and that was up against fellow funny fatty Melissa McCarthy and she was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA for her performance in that film.
What’s that I hear? Was it the rustle of garments as people flinch in shock because I used the word ‘fatty’? Well, fatty fatty fatty FATTY.
Because that’s what’s so beautiful about these women, they wouldn’t give a flying pork chop to be called that. Wilson is called Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect and doesn’t look she minds any more than the character does.
She and McCarthy own their size, they’re happy with it and if anyone else thinks it’s funny – great. Laugh with me and then hand over that Oscar, thank you. And it is laugh with me. That’s the difference these brilliant, funny, fat women are making.
There has been a long tradition of plus-sized comedic actresses – Hattie Jacques (the matron in Carry On Doctor…) being a particular favourite of mine – but they were more figures of fun, to be laughed at for their body shapes.
Rebel and Melissa – and blazing a trail before them, Magda Szubanski and Dawn French – are in on the joke.
In fact, they’re making the jokes. And by owning the word fat, laughing about it, making it a ‘thing’, they’re taking the hurt out of it. Just as gay men took back ‘queer’ and black hip hop stars claimed the N-word, taking over its power, by making it OK to say – but only for them.
If fat stops being a taboo word, that must be a good step along the road to changing our ridiculously rigid ideas about body shape.
Now I do know Ms Wilson was for a while the spokesperson for a certain prominent ‘weight loss and nutrition’ company, which was a bit disappointing in light of all the above.
But she gave up the – no doubt, lucrative – contract, not long after signing for Pitch Perfect, as part of that deal was that she didn’t lose any weight. They wanted Fat Amy, not Slightly Rounded Amy, or If I Could Just Lose the Last Five Kilos Amy.
She hasn’t shown any sign of losing weight since, but it wouldn’t matter if she did. While no one should be judged for the weight they are, if they want to change it that’s fine too. It doesn’t make them a better or worse person. Just a different dress size.
Dawn French lost seven stone, a couple of years ago, has now put two back on and says she was happy with her body at all the weights. She’s just conscious of keeping an eye on it as she gets older for the undeniable health implications.
So how does Rebel Wilson look in her outfit for the Glamour magazine Awards? Exactly that. Glamorous. She’s working Adele style in a high-waisted Marina Rinaldi dress and updo hair, set off by a very cute pair of pointy pumps which perfectly show case her well-turned ankles.
The only thing I would change is to slightly stronger make up. She’s got the mouth for a pop-out red lippie and I’d like to see a smokier eye against her creamy skin and blonde hair too.
So she looks great – and even better at the end of the evening, when the outfit was accessorised with her Glamour Award for Film Actress. Next, I want to see her on the magazine’s cover.
PS And now look what I’ve found. She is on the cover of Glamour magazine’s July edition. Bloody brilliant!