I sent the following email in response to Lucy’s post, but her email address did not work – Catherine
Hello Lucy, Thanks for taking the time to write. I’m sorry you think I am “pathetic”. Did you read the article all the way through? My article about cosmetic surgery [Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery] was not about “judging” people, it was about looking at wider issues such as: why do so many people feel unhappy with their bodies the way they are? …and the way society pressurises women and girls to fit the mould of being “perfect”. I was asking why people have low self-esteem in the first place, and as I explained in the article, I see the reason for this to be due to the culture we live in – instead of taking the view that womens bodies are inherently flawed and ugly.
Please let me know which part of the article you thought was “sitting and judging”? Perhaps I should quote the following paragraph which perhaps you missed:
“It’s not the specific issue of breast implants I am talking about really. Neither is it the young age of these girls… The solution is not to ban 16 year olds from having plastic surgery, or ban it altogether. I’m all for the fundamental right of women to do what they want with their bodies and make their own decisions about their lives. BUT I believe there is a more fundamental issue here; that what’s behind this are some unquestioned assumptions about womens bodies that our society subscribes to.”
My article went on to address society’s assumption that women’s bodies are naturally flawed and ugly, which I think has a large impact in making women and girls want to “fix” their bodies by having cosmetic surgery.
Please enlighten me further about which part of the article so offended you. I would be interested to know more. Best wishes, Catherine
Catherine Redfern, editor of The F-Word, replies
Hi Daisy, Thanks for your recent email. I am sorry you feel disappointed. My policy for the site is that it is open to anyone who is a “young British feminist”. This means that it may contain viewpoints which not everyone agrees with or which angers or annoys people (see the whole “Whose Slut” hoo-ha). I also do not try to change the content of what people say because I feel that it should be a place where people can speak freely without me trying to edit them too much and make them say what I think they should say. Inevitably this means that some people will get annoyed / upset by what they read. My solution to this is to make the site an open place for discussion and to let people respond. The F-Word, hopefully, is a place where you *can* speak back about something which angers you. I try to actively promote discussion and feedback about the articles.
About missmogga’s comments specifically. There have been a few people who have written about what she said, a few have been supportive and a few have been angry, like you. And I can understand why her comments have caused anger. But I did feel missmogga had a valid point to make about the website, even though she perhaps did not express it in the most tactful way. And good for her, she actually did something about it by agreeing to write an article. I hope this helps to explain things and I hope you will continue to enjoy the site. I will put your comments on the comments page, unless you don’t want me to? Best wishes, Catherine