The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Is ‘Full-Figured’ an Insult?

Posted on | October 7, 2012 | 55 Comments

As opposed to, for example, “Holy kamoley, look at the incredible size of the ginormous hooters on that redhead“?

Mad Men star Christina Hendricks has slammed a reporter for being rude after she was asked whether she has inspired other women with her ‘full figure’.
The 37-year-old TV star was offended when asked about her curvy shape, getting her publicist to ask the journalist to rephrase her question. . . .
Kate [Waterhouse, fashion editor for Sydney’s Sun-Herald newspaper] asked: ‘You have been an inspiration as a full-figured woman. What is the most inspiring story that you can remember where you’ve inspired someone?’
Seeming a little flustered at the question, Christina replied: ‘Um, I don’t know… I’m sorry.’ . . .
According to E! Online, Christina later said off-camera, ‘I think calling me full-figured is just rude.’

(Via WeSmirch.) Obviously, the fashion editor meant to praise the famously curvaceous Ms. Hendricks as having served as a sort of celebrity role model for women whose shape doesn’t match the usual skin-and-bones fashion-industry standard of beauty. 

Furthermore, I think “full-figured” is both reasonably accurate and far less rude than some terms that might have been used if any of Ms. Hendricks’s male fans — and c’mon, guys, we’re all fans, aren’t we? — were given a chance to interview her.

In other celebrity news (also via WeSmirch), the most unusual couple in Hollywood keep pushing the “creeptastic” threshold:

The teen bride, who was 17 when they filmed the show, and her 52-year-old husband Doug Hutchison were the first couple introduced on the premiere episode [of VH1’s Couples Therapy 2].
“I call him ‘Dad’ instead of ‘Doug’ sometimes,” [Courtney] Stodden purred . . . with Doug creepily adding “See, this is the thing … I’m raising my wife!”
And while he may have a very young, scantily clad wife, Doug admits it’s taken a toll on her relationships — both personal and professional.
“I got death threats … my agent dropped me, my manager said marrying Courtney was like taking a gun and shooting my career in the head,” he says.

You can read the whole freaky thing at one of those catty gossip blogs that would never say anything pejorative about gay celebrities, while heaping scorn on the Hutchison-Stodden marriage. It was the tabloid-bloggers’ hateful reaction to this (entirely legal, if admittedly weird) marriage that inspired me to defend them — I actually did a phone interview with Courtney’s mother — despite the widespread suspicion that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt aimed at landing themselves a reality-show gig.

Look, if “Honey Boo Boo Child” can have a reality show, we’re already wwaaaayy down the slippery slope, and the 35-year age gap in the Hutchison-Stodden marriage is actually much less than the age gap between Hugh Hefner and some of his bunny “girlfriends.” And, as I say, the outraged reaction at the legal marriage of Hollywood’s most notorious newlyweds must be compared to the coverage of certain other celebrity nuptials of which no chicken sandwich restaurant owner can be permitted to express disapproval.

Finally, I remind you: Courtney Stodden says she’s a Republican.

UPDATE: Reaction from a military wife living abroad:

Seriously: If that show isn’t a crime, we need to pass a law that would criminalize it. I doubt even the most radical ACLU types would dare to defend “Honey Boo Boo” as protected First Amendment free speech. Liberals who aren’t offended by the most extreme works of Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe are completely grossed out by “Honey Boo Boo.”




55 Responses to “Is ‘Full-Figured’ an Insult?”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    October 9th, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    Spoken like a true non-Italian – it’s ‘Abbondanza!’.

    For contrition: go watch Anna Maria Alberghetti’s Good Seasons commercials.

  2. Micha_Elyi
    October 13th, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

    Interviewers for women’s interest magazines and TV can’t say “stacked”. Union rules. And in the last 30 years or so their editors wrecked the euphemism “full-figured” as a substitute for “well endowed”, itself a euphemism.

  3. K-Bob
    October 14th, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    Ah well. Today’s euphemisms become tomorrow’s hate speech. Once upon a time, the word “crippled” was a euphemism for things like “peg-legged” and “one-armed.”

  4. 1389
    October 21st, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    Anybody who would nickname his or her kid “Honey Boo Boo” should be taken out and SHOT. For their own good as well as their kid’s.
    I mean, that’s disgusting!

  5. Red
    December 9th, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    She was the one in the interview, maybe the rest of us missed the intent. You know how bitchy women can be. You have to be in on the conversation to get nuance even when words alone seem ‘innocent’.