Virginia Haussegger and the Goldilocks problem

Virginia Haussegger hates skinny women. She also hates fat women. She’s like Goldilocks, she prefers her women “just right” but I prefer to think of her as someone who hates all women.

The latest edgy op ed out of the Australian media (y’all realise this won’t make us buy more print media if it’s available online for free, right?) declares supermodels to be freaks of nature, while fat women to be part of a scandalous and [insert fat related joke re: growing] problem. Does Ms Haussegger get to decide the golden mean? Yeah right, what has two fat thumbs and thinks you’re a concern trolling fluff writer? Me (and Bob Kelso).

I’m not entirely sure what the writer (term used loosely) is trying to argue. She slags off models, most of Australia, fat people, Minister Kate Ellis’ national body image strategy without offering a single useful solution. No wait, she rails against the “health problem” and “omgbesity” and throws her hands up in the air and says THE SKY IS FALLING, no, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

What Virginia Haussegger does not take into consideration is that:

If Virginia Haussegger were really going to be the Mother Teresa to the fatties of the world (and Mother Teresa is probably an apt role model here as an advocate of suffering) she’d start by recognising her conditioning and making headway on her fat bias. Slapping a headless fatty photo on the article does not tell me that she genuinely cares about health, it tells me that Virginia Haussegger hates fat bodies.

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  • 1Sonya1

    The Age: Ooo, declining readers. Must. Provoke. Controversy. Who is a good target? What is trendy?

    Virginia: I HAS THE SOLUTION.

    Me: Eyeroll.

    (edited because unfortunately, Australia is probably not eyerolling and instead applauding and saying: “Hmm, good point, Ginny! Those damned fatties are eating my tax dollars!”)

  • definatalie

    I wonder if she's just riffing on Susie O'Brien's ~~controversy~~ and whether or not it actually did anything for the Herald Sun. haha!

  • lilacsigil

    I didn't (and won't) read the article with my freaky fat eyes, but when I adblocked the headless not-very-fatty I apologised to the person in the photo. I didn't really want to block her, just what she's being used for.

  • Frances

    “There's plenty of good to come from a national body image strategy. But let's start with the biggest problem. Let's tackle fat first.”

    YOU CAN ONLY HAVE SELF-ESTEEM IF YOU'RE THIN. Thanks for the clarification, Virg. (The stupid, it buuuurrrrrns!)

  • KateJ

    I saw this yesterday and my first thought was “Hmm, who's going to smack this idiot down first, Natalie at Axis or Bri at Fat Lot?”. Thankyou!

  • Colleen

    Hi Natalie

    I've only been looking in the 'fatosphere' for the last couple of days. The reason I started browsing fatty blogs is because I was offended and alarmed at VH's comments in her article on Sunday. I am so glad to have found your comments. Thank you for tackling VH.


  • Meredith

    Thanks Natalie, I'm glad somebody else notice that Huassegger had major problems structuring her argument.

    “A [insert appallingly lazy pun re: slim] 4 percent of women, and just one percent of men” are underweight yet responding to a “call for a truer, fairer representation of women by the media” is apparently “[t]he worst thing the Australia media could do right now”?


  • Frankincensy

    “Fat women hate skinny women.” The whole piece is ridiculous, but that statement stood out to me as emblematic of so many inaccurate beliefs and assumptions. Fat women *must* hate skinny women because fat is ugly and skinny is pretty, right? Fat women are *always* lying when they say they're happy with their size. Fat women are a hivemind, incapable of thinking as individuals. This article says nothing about the lives and experiences of the actual people Ms Haussegger acts so concerned about, and everything about the stereotypes she's internalised.

  • badu

    “The appearance of fat is ugly when it reeks of sloth and a lack of discipline. Being skinny is ugly when it reeks of malnutrition and starvation. But that's not what most women are objecting to when they criticise skinny models in magazines. What they're railing against is the fact that they're not gorgeous freaks like Linda Evangelista and her fashionista friends. “

    Then she says this;

    “Karl Lagerfeld was crude, rude and probably right when he suggested that the women who object most to catwalk models and call them “ugly' are “fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television”. Fat women hate skinny women. Maybe they console their misery with more chips.”

    No, the women who object most to models, are people like VH, as she indicated in the first passage, honestly, can't haters take responsibility for any of their feelings, ever? Own your own hatred or junk it.

    It makes sense that those who hate fat women, also hate thin women because they've bought into superior/ inferior body type, they resent those who they've decided to put up on a pedestal, which of course she does with Linda Evangelista, the two go together.

  • bri_fatlotofgood


    Thanks for that comment, you made my day! : )

    I actually missed this one totally so I am glad Ms Natalie was there to grab it and shake it for all its worth (which isnt much really…)

  • eveas

    “the obese must suffer the medical consequences of their weight, consequences that include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and that cause nearly 300,000 deaths in the United States each year.”
    -from the Newsweek article you cited…

    I don't have a problem with having a good self-image and no body image issues, but to say that obesity is not a health issue is just plain wrong. The human body is not meant to carry that much weight, period. Overconsumption of food and beverage and zero exercise is not how you lead a healthy life (and by healthy, I mean few health problems like type II diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc, etc). I can't believe that you reduced Newsweek's article down to “Obesity it mostly genetic.” It's not. Yes, there are differences among all of us that result in different body shapes or sizes – some skinny, some fat – but our genes alone are not the reason for the incredibly high prevalence of obesity. Eating too much and exercising too little – that is the main cause of obesity. Just because you feel good about your body emotionally does not mean that you are healthy physically.

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