“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.” Sophia Loren.

“If you drink milk you should exercise.”

“I look at you and all I see is fat.”

“You look like a simpering toad.”

“You fat c**t.”

“We all thought you’d end up 6ft tall and gorgeous but instead you’re short and stocky.”

“You didn’t turn out the way we thought you would. You were so gorgeous as a little girl!”

“Ali, you shouldn’t be eating that.”

“Oh my God! You’ve lost so much weight! You’re shrinking in front of me.”

“I mean, you look good now, but if you lost weight you’d look really good!”

“If you lost weight you’d be Super Ali.”

“You’ve got such a pretty face but if you just lost weight…”

“You show that you don’t have to be a size 0 to be absolutely gorgeous!”

All of the quotes above have actually been said to me in the past, seared into my memory like a branding iron on flesh. I’m sure some were meant as compliments (wow, strong backhand! Have you considered tennis?), but seriously, what the fuck?

Sometimes it’s hard to accept that I look like a Hobbit when the rest of my family look like Tolkien’s elves. #frodo4ever #legolasforPM. Sometimes I look in the mirror and want to hop on a 389 bus and throw myself off The Gap. It sounds ridiculous that I’d get so upset about something so superficial (honestly, there are far more important things to worry about – am I a nice person? Climate change, Trump’s tan), but often what someone said as a throwaway line a decade ago will re-surface and mess with my head.

Often people project their views of beauty onto others. So, because I don’t live up to the way you think I should look, that means I’ve failed somehow? Gee, I’m so sorry to disappoint you. #notemysarcasm

It’s not like I’m morbidly obese, or have ever endorsed leading a sedentary lifestyle or making poor food choices. I’m currently enjoying a scorching Sydney summer and am hitting the pavement, enjoying fresh salads, and bathing in the healing sea.

I saw the incredibly beautiful sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid strutting their stuff at the Victoria’s Secret show recently. After wanting to die of jealously and self-loathing for about 5 minutes, I realised that not only am I not 19 years old anymore, but I’m also not 1.75 m tall. I’m ecstatic that people like Ashley Graham are making a splash on the international modelling scene now. I guess that’s one thing we can be grateful to Instagram for – that women who would have been laughed out of a modelling agency previously now have a platform and a voice. #bellamanagement

On the flip-side, one thing I loathe beyond all recognition is this idea of a ‘real woman’. Body shaming people for being too skinny, or saying things like “I’d rather a real woman than a bag of bones” is just as wrong as shaming someone for not looking like Kate Moss circa 1991. People look different, the end.


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