15 Minute Blog: Jamelia makes me uncomfortable

A variation of the 10 minute plan, decided to give myself a little bit more time today. Written in one go, pictures and punctuation sorted later. 

Ex-popstar turned panel show guest Jamelia has landed herself in some hot water this week after some comments she made while appearing on Loose Women. During the show Jamelia made some massively insensitive comments about how shops should stop selling dresses above or below certain sizes.


This is her quote:

I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.

Understandably, this was not received well, with many attacking Jamelia for creating more negative body image issues and it generally being a cruel policy. Awkwardly for ITV she then appeared on Good Morning Britain where she was part of #SelfieEsteem, the show’s social media campaign to improve body image and make women more confident. The campaign is based on a recent study which revealed that many women take five or six attempts to take a selfie, striving for perfection.

This isn’t a surprise, MWG is sensitive about what photos of her I share online and one of her friends was once drunkenly lamenting the fact that none of her selfies were coming out properly as she tried to Snapchat a young male.

But it’s a bit bad for someone who’s advocating for increased confidence and self esteem has, that same week, said that larger women should be made to feel “uncomfortable”.

Personally, I think Jamelia was bang out of order and her pathetic attempt at an apology on GMB didn’t help. Why would you want to make people feel uncomfortable?

As a fat man, let me tell you something for nothing, feeling uncomfortable while shopping for clothes doesn’t make me want to address my weight, it makes me want to hide away from the world. I remember quite clearly going shopping for shirts for a job interview a few years ago and finding that the shop I went to didn’t stock anything that would fit me. The over gelled staff member was embarrassed, I definitely was and I left with no shirt.

After that 80% of my shopping was done online.

Losing weight is tough. This week we’ve learnt that many short cuts are fake, even dangerous, but I don’t think people get that a major barrier to us bigger folks getting in shape is down to the reactions we face.

When I was running I used to feel painfully self conscious. To that end I’d often run in the early hours or late at night, when less people were about. I knew I looked terrible, red faced and sweating, but I was trying, and had someone laughed or made a comment it would have destroyed me.

Over time I got more comfortable, and by the end I didn’t even care how I looked, because I knew how I felt. I felt good, and I knew I was smaller than I had been at the start. I never reached buff level, but I was slimmer and healthier and I’m determined to start running again soon. A new pair of trainers and I’ll be out there, trying to make up for an extended period when Lazy Chris has been in control.

Jamelia’s comments are indicative of this moronic idea that permeates our society. The idea that fat people don’t feel bad about ourselves already, we do. Finding clothes that fit as a bloke is tough, and I know that for women it can be more difficult due to the variety of body shapes and the stigma around larger dresses. As much as the Tess Munsters of this world do their part to help body confidence and illustrate that beauty isn’t dependent on being thin, it’s an uphill struggle.

Tess Munster- founder of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign.
Tess Munster- founder of the #effyourbeautystandards campaign.

Larger women don’t need to be made to feel worse. Losing weight is tough, and sometimes unnecessary. You can be overweight but still healthy enough to live your life, and at the end of the day it’s your life and your body. There are tons of things in this world that make us feel bad and make life difficult, hating yourself is not something anyone needs.

I feel that Jamelia hasn’t fully understood how insensitive she’s been and her defence of “I’m paid to give my opinions” is bollocks. You have the right to express them and we have a right to criticize them, and GMB should have booted her from the #SelfieEsteem campaign. It’s a shame, because I’ve always thought she was kinda cool before, and always came across well.

We shouldn’t be making people uncomfortable, we should be encouraging them to embrace who they are. If you’re a larger lady or a skinny girl, you’re not left out of being beautiful and you should love yourself.

body confidence


If you want to change for yourself, that’s all good, but we shouldn’t be bullying people to change and feel bad about themselves, because that can push people to dangerous methods and be disastrous.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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