Was This Morning's Phillip Schofield too harsh on 30-stone burlesque model?
Gayla Neufeld hit the news recently for her webcam antics — because she's not your typical online model. The 52-year-old weighs 30 stone and has an 8-foot belly and makes a living from men who love larger ladies.
Neufeld, who believes she was "predestined" to be this size because all the women in her family were overweight, met her husband Lance through a fat-fetish forum and he now helps her run her home business entertaining "a great following of men" from all over the world with her 96-inch belly.
The Texan is one of a growing army of super curvaceous women — some who weigh more than 40 stone — who are part of the SSBBW (super-sized big beautiful women) community and worshipped by legions of men calling themselves "fat admirers."
Neufeld was interviewed by Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden for a segment entitled "My Flab is My Fortune" on This Morning and Phil in particular didn't seem to be completely on board with her lifestyle. In fact some viewers have called him out for being "cruel' with some of his questions, for example when he quizzed Neufeld on her diet.
Video credit: This Morning/YouTube
The webcam star admitted that she tends to eat the wrong things and that it has caused health problems. "You are slowly killing yourself," Schofield argued to which Neufeld admitted, "I'm not going to argue that point with you." However she did point out that her 83-year-old mother is overweight and she is still alive whereas her father, who was slim, died in his 60s.
"I don't encourage people to gain weight. I'm encouraging people to be happy in their body. If you are big, enjoy it," said Neufeld, who was badly bullied as a child for being overweight and was put on a diet at the age of six, which affected her self-image and self-confidence. She admits to having bad days but says that she is happy with her life and that her webcam career has boosted her confidence by making her realise that "no matter what size you are, whether you're skinny-skinny or fat-fat, you can be beautiful and attractive and sexy and desirable."
It's awesome that Neufeld is happy and confident in her own skin. That's the ultimate goal for all of us whatever size we are, right? But we can see where Schofield was going with this. To follow a super unhealthy diet, for whatever reason, is never something to celebrate. And that goes for those who deprive themselves of food just as much as those who eat vast amounts of whatever they like.
Overweight women should never be pressured or bullied into losing weight or made to feel that they're undesirable or unattractive. Having said that a woman with an 8-foot belly, who admits to having arthritis and mobility and thyroid problems, should be prepared to deal with the same reaction society would give to a 6-stone woman who starves herself to please men who like skinny women.