Caitlin Moran has made the news today. Which is normally a very good thing. She’s an intelligent, straight-talking feminist and her latest book, her fictional debut How To Build A Girl, should be on every woman’s summer reading list.
This was what she was promoting at Strand Bookstore in New York City on Tuesday but her lively, engaging, insightful talk has been somewhat overshadowed by her stomach.
Yes, her stomach. At one point during her talk Moran lifted up her shirt to reveal her bra had a pair of eyeballs drawn on it and she also grabbed her tummy and did that squishy thing. You know, the thing we women do when we’re moaning to our mates about putting on a few pounds over the holidays. (Or, in my case, what my kids do whenever they see me naked, exclaiming “What’s that, Mummy?!” as they grab hold.)
The media response to Moran’s belly-grabbing has been mixed. One outlet, unbelievably, captioned an image of the writer making reference to her “huge belly fat.” Others have taken the high road and praised her for “proving body confidence is everything.”
I agree body confidence is everything. Or at least, it’s a very important — and sadly rare — asset in this day and age when women of all ages are subjected to a continuous stream of images of women who have bellies nothing like Moran’s. Tight, taut, all-fat-sucked-out-of-them bellies splashed across the pages of every magazine, newspaper and media website.
So in that respect of course it’s good that Moran is proudly flashing her not-so-tight, not-so-taut, completely normal stomach. It’s not huge, it’s not fat, it’s just what the vast majority of ordinary women see when they dare to stand naked in front of the mirror.
But maybe we should be making less fuss about seeing a famous woman’s completely normal belly. Because, you know — it’s just normal. And Moran has a bloody good book to promote which is far more interesting than the size of her stomach.
How To Build A Girl is available at Amazon.