Friday, April 11, 2008
I want to be Chloe Marshall!
Like most women who are battling their weight, I've found myself at odds on plenty of occasions with beauty pageants, fashion magazines, the fashion industry and the like.
As I've gotten older, while yes, I'm unhappy with my size, I've gained some respect and appreciation for my body and all that it does. But there are still moments when self-loathing creeps in because I can't find a nice dress or because no one makes a nice bathing suit for someone my size.
So imagine my delight when I came across an article about Chloe Marshall, a 17-year old beauty queen from England. Before you roll your eyes, take a look at Ms. Marshall...hardly your typical beauty queen.
She ain't tiny and she ain't blonde. If you look, you'll see--get ready for this--breasts. And curves. And arms bigger than toothpicks.
I'm sure you're stunned. I know I was. She's pretty, she's curvy and she thinks her body is fine just the way it is. And she hopes her entry into the Miss England pageant will show more young women that it's okay to be a normal size.
Hooray for self-esteem!
Of course, once I discovered Chloe's story, I was intrigued to read more. So I googled her name and came up with several hundred blog posts, stories and comments about her. Ouch. Daily Mail columnist Monica Grenfell wrote a scathing editorial on why Chloe Marshall shouldn't win the Miss England pageant.
Here's a little gem from Ms. Grenfell's piece:
"Who on earth does she think she's kidding? What she's demonstrating isn't bravery but a shocking lack of self-control.
Instead of flaunting her figure, Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat and she got that way by over-eating.
I don't take any pleasure in attacking Chloe - after all she's only 17. But I think she has been very badly advised in her bid to champion the cause of bigger girls.
In my view, Chloe is a terrible role model.
I hope she doesn't win the Miss England title.
It would send an appalling - and very dangerous - message to other young women that it's OK to be fat."
Really, Ms. Grenfell? You don't take any pleasure in attacking a normal-sized, hard-working girl who's set out to do nothing but be a positive role model? Sounds like there is just a touch of sanctimonious, self-righteous hatred going on here.
You read Ms. Grenfall's piece and think Chloe must be at least 450 pounds, rolling herself down the aisle and smooshing herself into an inappropriately-sized bikini.
Turns out fatty Chloe Marshall is 5-foot-10, 176 pounds.
Type that into the National Institute of Health BMI calculator and you get a reading of 25.3. The normal weight range is 18.5-24.9.
Yes, Chloe's 25.3 is over the "normal" limit but c'mon...
"A poster girl for diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, cancers and all the other devastating and potentially fatal health problems that are caused or exacerbated by obesity."
A little more research brought me to the fact that Ms. Grenfell is a health and diet "expert"--who just released her new book, "Crash Diet"--A book that teaches you to lose 7 pounds in 7 Days...
Ha! Methinks I'll take diet and health tips from the beauty queen, just this once. Go for it, Chloe! Here's to hoping she brings home the crown!