Why is it not OK to comment on someone's weight? Isn't it what people are thinking anyway?
PUBLISHED: 12:35 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:57 27 June 2019
Is there anyone watching Love Island who can honestly say they haven't noticed, or commented on the stars' looks at some point in time? But if you are going to write about it - watch out! Still, I bet Boris Johnson wishes we were only interested in his haircut
Well, I got into some trouble last week for writing about Love Island (sorry!) and suggesting that one of the female contenders might be a bit "chunkier" than the other girls on the show, who, to my eyes, look tiny.
People didn't like me pointing this out, which was interesting.
I imagine calling the other girls "tiny" isn't acceptable either, but, in for a penny in for a pound.
"So there was outrage because you told the truth?" said a wise friend of mine.
Weight, it seems, has become one of those things that you can never mention, as though you haven't noticed whether a woman is a size 20 or a size 6 or a man has a beer gut that makes you wonder if you have uncovered the world's first pregnant male.
There is a world of difference, of course, between noticing and judging.
Everybody notices, so to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.
Judgement, on the other hand, isn't on.
Perhaps I was a little judgemental of the Love Island girl, who was irritating me at the time with her behaviour, but generally it is society that judges us on our weight, not me.
Until recently, I was two-and-a-half stone heavier than I am now.
I didn't try to lose weight but my life circumstances changed, I stopped bothering to eat as much and the weight somehow fell off.
I've heard it described as "the divorce diet".
I wouldn't recommend it, but I certainly feel better for it.
Most people seem to think I look better for it too.
They are always saying, "You've lost weight!" - and there is a clear 'well done!' in their tone, which could be taken several ways:
Well done, you look great?
Well done, you are now more socially acceptable?
Or well done on not looking quite as awful as you used to?
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Maybe some are just noticing without judgement?
I cannot say.
If I had gained weight of course, as I have done many times over the years (I have clothes in my wardrobe from size 10 to 16), apparently nobody would mention it on pain of death, although they would certainly notice.
What a funny world we live in!
Anyway, I am enjoying the compliments that I doubt will last long as I am happy now - so will probably start eating more cakes, of which I am fond.
Not everyone agrees that my weight loss is a good thing.
An old friend of my mother's became quite alarmed.
"Will you eat!" she said. "You are too thin! I'm worried about your health!"
It strikes me that everyone has an opinion on your weight in real life, yet if it is going into print or onto the web, you are going to get into trouble and cannot really win.
Of course size has nothing to do with how beautiful you are - that comes from within - but, as in so many things, our society is full of double standards - which may be why Boris Johnson, for example, is so reluctant to talk about his private life and would prefer everyone to just focus on his new haircut instead.
Why won't you tell us what happened between you and your girlfriend?, the press kept clamouring.
Well, perhaps that is because he knows that whatever he says is likely to be twisted to suit the agenda of whichever newspaper in which it appears.
"Just tell the truth," they kept saying.
But as my wise friend pointed out, there are truths that can be told and truths that people cannot stomach - especially if, for their own reasons, they don't want to.
I have no sympathy for Boris, obviously.
He has put himself out there in his bid for power and people are always going to be interested in your private life if you don't take an oath of ascetism and become a monk or nun.
But I find it interesting how outrage bubbles up and everyone is furious for about two days, and then they move onto something else.
Meanwhile, nothing changes.
Nobody commented on what I thought was the main thrust of my Love Island article last week - that I was worried about the mental health of some of the contestants whose emotions are being played with in a way I consider to be tantamount to cruelty.
Even though two contestants from previous series have died since being on the show, people were only interested in a throwaway bitchy comment I made about someone's weight - which, in hindsight, was unkind and unnecessary.
But it makes you wonder if we are in a world where anything important really matters at all.