A mad world, my masters

In Self-promotion
September 2, 2009

I have a little piece in the Guardian today. Which, because it is about fatness and is illustrated by a picture of a *naked lady* is now their third most-read story today.

What really amazes me are some of the incredibly horrible comments. Various people, men and women, are rushing to say how *disgusting* they find this beautiful woman. (She is, incidentally, incredibly lovely. When I spoke to her she came across as the archetypical delightful Californian, a sweet, joyful, adorably giggly young woman.)

I’m not arguing that people *ought* to find this or that attractive. I mean, find what you like attractive and go for it. It’d be awful if we were all attracted to the same thing and luckily we’re not. There are plenty of people out there of all different body shapes and sizes who find someone to love them and be attracted to them just as they are. What a wonderful world.

But I wonder if we were always like this: always so critical of other people’s bodies, always so determined to state that what *we* find attractive is the *only* thing that is attractive? Eh, maybe we were. Humanity has never been distinguished mostly for its capacity for peaceful toleration. But that doesn’t mean we ought not to strive for it.

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