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#OzObituary: Responses to Colleen McCullough’s obituary make us feel better about life

When Colleen McCullough’s obituary appeared in The Australian following her death this week, it was thought that the piece would be a nod to her extreme literary talents, but instead her fashion sense and body weight were up for discussion.

Image: National Library of Australia

The great Australian writer, Colleen McCullough, who was responsible for the incredibly popular novel The Thorn Birds, died this week.

Following the release of the news of her death, newspaper The Australian, owned by media mogul and repetitive foot-in-mouth shover Rupert Murdoch, published the most unfortunate and sorry excuse for an obituary we have ever seen.

Instead of commending the enormous impact the writer had on Australian literature, and indeed literature the world over, she was instead noted for her big frame, her poor fashion sense and her love life.

“Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless a woman of wit and warmth,”
read the cringe-worthy obituary in its opening paragraph.

More: #RIPColleenMcCullough: 10 Quotes to remember her by

“I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men,” McCullough was quoted.

Now that The Australian has gotten their feelings out of the way, and their surprise about the romantic pursuits of the woman, then, finally then, they went on to talk about her actual achievements.

And then, of course, they couldn’t finish up before another mention of McCullough’s weight, mentioning the 8,000 square metres house she built on Norfolk Island, about which they quoted the writer: “Yes, I know that is big, but then so am I.”

Thankfully, people have been so mortified by the obituary that they have shared their own “Australian-esque” commiserations online, as well as pointing out how sexist and unfortunate it is to refer to one of our great writers as “plain” and “overweight” in the first sentence or at all.

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