So apparently my head has been under a rock these last couple of days, as Jamelia’s comments on Loose Women, that people of a certain size ought to be made to shop at specialist shops, have just come to my attention.
Yesterday morning the singer stated that “everyone should have access to lovely clothes BUT I do not think it’s right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle” and that “they (being people she deems ‘not normal’ I suppose?) should be made to feel uncomfortable when they can’t find a size.”
And yes, I really wish I was making this up. Jamelia. What the feckkk? You’ve gone all Hopkins. I’m absolutely gutted.
First things first Jamelia, a little life lesson, if you say something nice, and then put a ‘BUT’ after it, you are completely disregarding the first half of your sentence. ‘I love you but…’ ‘you look nice but…’ It’s never good news. So with that in mind, do you reallyyyy believe that we’ve all got the right to lovely clothes? Yeh no, didn’t think so.
Right now the Grammar Police has said her piece, I’m going to get apocalyptically angry about the rest of it.
HOW DARE YOU?
You were an icon to young girls, I really like your music, when I was little you were one of the stars that I was looking up to. Are you really going to be so ungrateful to tell us girls, who went to your concerts and bought your music, who are all young adults now by the way, where they are allowed to shop?
We don’t ask for much us girls, we’re generally pretty good at just getting on with it. We went to Topshop today. Couldn’t fit into a pair of jeans? Worry not; we’ll have a glass of wine and pretend that didn’t happen. We bought a gorgeous top 2 months ago from Zara and it doesn’t fit anymore? Oh well, it must have shrunk in the wash. And there’s a big party tonight? And we desperately want a new dress? And they all look shitty? Oh well I guess I didn’t need a new one anyway.
And we’re good at getting on with it because we have to be. But that doesn’t make this bollocky stuff any easier. It breaks my heart! I HATE that Topshop won’t cater to everyone, I HATE knowing that I literally cannot buy a bra on the high street because they wont fit, that Karen Millen and Zara have such narrow sizes, and I really HATE the thought that any girl would go to a shop only to find that nothing fits her, and have to leave without anything except shitty self esteem. It’s a wicked world, and hard e-bloody-nough. So WHAT do you think you are doing?
No, it might not be healthy. Yes, facilitating an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’ seems wrong. But this is not our war, and it is certainly not the place. Go to a school, or a supermarket or a fast-food joint for this battle. But don’t you dare come straight to us, on your high (clothes) horse, and inflict this terrible humiliation.
I will say it again and again until I am blue in the face: WE NEED TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER. I want to shake you Jamelia, because I liked you, and now I can't respect you! You’re a woman, with a daughter!
There is undoubtedly a problem in this country with food and weight and what nots, but actually you sounded so narrow minded you’ve made the first problem into a different problem entirely, or at least, I think you have.
This is how I see it: We are poorly educated about food in this country, loads of supermarket food is pumped full of sugar, it probably is now too easy to get a bag of chips and damn it white wine is just so damned delicious and surely it’s got to count as one of my five a day?
We are also, a lot of us, unhappy. In many instances depression is misdiagnosed, diagnosed too early, too late, ignored, whatever. Rejection, heartbreak, loss, confusion, hell, even hormones, can all make a girl feel very out of control. So what does she do? She tries to find some. But she can’t control school, or her parents, or where she lives, so she controls the one thing she can, what she puts into her body. Food.
And then what happens? Often, and sadly, girls put on more weight than they intend to and then find it hard to lose. They comfort eat. They develop food addictions. Or they put on weight, like it and keep it. Whatever it is, it’s not simply a problem of: ‘you’re fat, fuck off out my shop.’
But you didn’t stop there did you? You said Size Zero wasn’t right either? Now this is a tricky one, because yes, some people can eat like kings and stay that size, but sometimes, theoretically, Size Zero isn’t ‘right’, not if you’ve starved yourself to get there. But it’s the same problem I just explained, only back to front. It is not simple. It often isn’t a choice, and if it is, it’s a complicated one. You don’t get to judge Jamelia, you just don’t, because you don’t know!
Life is hard enough, all the time for everyone and you are deliberately making it harder for us. I wouldn’t mind so much if you were in my shoes. But you have a monster voice, hundreds of thousands of people are listening and you’re wasting it! Jesus, you put me up there for a minute and I’d have a Mean Girls ‘I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy’ moment, because really, that’s what we need.
I have been there, and suffered the humiliation that high street shops have to offer. The changing rooms are panic inducing, there’s a model with a name badge on patronizingly telling the girl in the cubical next door that ‘they don’t stock a bigger size’, I half imagine there to be a pair of scissors under the desk for the next time a girl like me thinks a crop top will fit. Maybe you’ve not been to one in a while, but trust me, they are hard enough.
We’re just trying to find our feet at the minute us girls, trying to be okay with the size that we are, and on some fronts, we’re winning, but every time I think we’re getting ahead, someone like you comes and shits on our heads.
You said that you wanted to make girls ‘feel uncomfortable when they can’t find a size.’ You are taking a potentially unhappy girl and deliberately willing her to just feel that bit worse. And honestly, that is just truly unforgivable.