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Gogglebox’s Kate Bottley reminds us it’s never OK to comment on someone’s weight

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Kayleigh Dray
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Kate Bottley on Gogglebox

“I know you think you’re being kind, but comments about weight aren’t OK,” writes the Gogglebox star.

Reverend Kate Bottley, who found fame on Channel 4’s Gogglebox, has been making a point of wearing glam vintage dresses to pop out to the supermarket during the coronavirus lockdown. Because why not, eh?

However, the journalist, media presenter, and reality television star was disappointed when the photos triggered an outpouring of compliments over her “weight loss” from some of her Instagram followers.

“Gosh, you are so slim and lovely in that [dress],” wrote one. 

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Bottley replied: “I know you think you’re being kind, but comments about weight aren’t OK.

“‘Slim’ isn’t necessarily healthier or more beautiful,” she added. “I also don’t like anyone talking about my weight.”

To another fan, she replied: “If it’s OK with you, I’d rather you didn’t talk about my weight.”

Bottley is by far from the first to challenge the obsession with celebrity weight loss: Lena Dunham, in a lengthy Instagram post, famously addressed every member of the press who dared to comment on her “weight loss transformation”.

The Girls creator said: “Right now I’m struggling to control my endometriosis through a healthy diet and exercise. So my weight loss isn’t a triumph and it also isn’t some sign I’ve finally given in to the voices of trolls. Because my body belongs to ME – at every phase, in every iteration, and whatever I’m doing with it.

“I’m not handing in my feminist card to anyone.”

Lena Dunham: "My body belongs to ME"
Lena Dunham: "My body belongs to ME"

Holly Willoughby, similarly, declined to answer any questions about her dietary or fitness habits during an interview.

“I actually avoid talking about my diet and exercise regime because I have interviewed so many people affected by eating disorders,” she said firmly. “I know that some people in chat rooms can really fixate on other people’s diets. I just can’t contribute to that.”

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When pressed for more information about her daily eating habits, Willoughby’s response was blunt and to the point.

“I love food,” she said. “It’s a celebration, something to be talked over, shopped for, cooked and enjoyed.”

Chrissy Teigen has reminded thoughtless people why they should stop praising others on their ‘weight loss achievements’.

And Chrissy Teigen, of course, famously used Twitter to address her her 11 million followers about her weight and her “new normal”.

“‘How do you eat like this?’” she asked herself, echoing the words she has surely heard so many times before. “Basically I am 20 pounds heavier than I was before [the birth of my son], Miles. He’s 10 months old [now, but] I never lost the last bit because I just love food too much.”

Teigen added: “Just coming to terms with my new normal, when I had this certain number for so long!”

Then, writing in a subsequent tweet, she informed fans that “the thinnest I’ve ever been was right after Luna [was born]”.

However, she noted that this was mostly due to “postpartum depression”.

“I’LL TAKE THESE POUNDS AND THIS FEELING!” she said.

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With so many women in the public eye prepared to challenge body-shaming and the media’s obsession with weight, we can only hope that the narrative will be changed soon.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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