[ DISCLAIMER: The article featured was submitted as university work May 2014 ]

Another day, another raft of celebrity photographs accompanied by the usual comments about their appearance (particularly if they have gained weight) in some publication or website. Regardless of the reason  – and it could well be a bad shot or pregnancy – it always carries the same message, that it is weak to be curvy.

This got me thinking how does this make me feel?

Quite frankly, terrible and an awful lot worse when I scroll down to the readers’ comments. It appears the media has now become a forum for online bullying. the celebrities has become the modern day equivalent of chaining local miscreants to the stocks or public burning at the steak egged on by a jeering mob… and they called them the “dark ages.”

If I, who am not famous, feel like hiding myself away as a result of these witch hunts with a XL tub of Ben and Jerries, can you imagine what it is doing to people who are actually been written about. It speaks volumes about the mind-sets of the media and what they really think about curves – unsightly, unattractive, scary! Who can blame celebrities (think Gemma TOWIE) down in the park half killing themselves and signing up at the rate of knots for Strictly – where let’s face it, all anyone ever talks about is how much weight they have lost.

So what’s classed as an acceptable size these days? In short, extreme thinness, flat chest, straight up and down – in other words an adolescent boy. A powerful surge of resistance started in 2008, when Vogue Italia decided to publish three plus size models in their underwear on the front cover of their magazine. This wasn’t courageous, in my opinion; though it’s realism and closer to the readership profile than most titles. The models were no more than a size 14,  (in other words average, healthy and normal) but touted as plus-size. That’s worrying when the UK average is currently a size 16! It has implications for us all. It’s a form of social engineering and history that it doesn’t end well.

Today alone I learned that Gemma (TOWIE) is on yet another exercise program, Jennifer Lawrence was told she was “fat” and needed to lose weight, from where exactly – her hair!? Next up is the hoop of horror designed by magazines to point out any distinctive flaws in the women papped. In New’s May issue we are bombarded with stories filled with concern for super-slim celebs like Tara Reid. The former American Pie beauty was pictured looking thinner than ever. Oh, and that’s not forgetting Danielle O’hara’s (WAG) latest Twitter snaps which have caused friends and family to worry about her obsessive weight loss regime. The WAG posted several bikini shots last week showing fans her “fragile” frame.

What are the odds Adele will be 3 stone lighter by summer?

Moving on to Millie Mackintosh looking magnificent accompanied by a sneering article inferring she might have fallen off the wagon while on her recent holiday venture – I’m sure most men would be more than happy with her full attention just the way she is! Jessica Ennis’ glorious petite frame was mocked by a senior UK Athletics official for being “fat”  because –  apparently –  she was “carrying too much weight.”

The explicit message is, make no mistake about it, that in order to have a successful career/money/glamour/love, it must be done minus the curves and those in the spotlight can’t get on those diets quick enough. Who can blame them? I’m certainly not.  Now I’m not encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle or condoning obesity which can and will shorten someones life and definitely impact on the quality of it. However, this constant stream of negativity towards curves is leading us all into vicious cycles of self-loathing and denial which has undeniable health implications.

Usually the more accepting I am, the happier I am, the easier it is to lose weight – if I feel like it – but constantly being viewed with disgust then it’s not hard to see where it goes from there. If these women are bullied into slimming down by the media in order to sustain a career, what hope is there for the rest of us, because the message spreads like a germ in all directions. Think of all that lost potential. So, I’ll ask the impossible, but I’ll ask it anyway, please lay off sneering at celebrities and if you can’t think of something nice to say it’s better to say nothing at all – and that applies to the unflattering pictures. It affects us ALL.