|A Real Woman I Admire|
I can very well remember the first time I saw Dawn French on television. It was back in the 80's when her show French and Saunders was first screening. I loved their humour and at that time they were the only female comediennes I had seen on television. Since then I've followed Dawn French's career through her many television shows right up until my all time favourite, The Vicar of Dibley.
It was not only Dawns humour that made me such a fan. It was her attitude to her body, her pride and self respect. Whether she's leaping around in a tutu for an onscreen skit or modelling for painters, Dawn's point is clear - Big is Beautiful. Determined to prove that point, she contacted Esquire magazine offering to pose in the nude. They jumped at her offer and the success of that issue tells its own story.
Instead of being shy and embarassed about her size, Dawn celebrates it. "If I was alive in Rubens’ time I wouldn’t have to be a comedienne for a living. I’d be celebrated as a beautiful model. In those days Kate Moss would only have one use, as a paintbrush. He’d be painting me and I’d say ‘what’s that in your hand Rubens?’ He’d say ‘It’s Kate Moss. I’m using her as a paintbrush."
Instead of apologising for her size or wasting her life trying to change it, Dawn says "The diet industry dictates how we should look along with the fashion industry. They take all your money for you to buy these products and you lose a lot of weight very fast. Then of course when you put it on, you put on much more than you ever were before. So then you’ve got more to lose, so give them more money to buy more of their stupid products. Meanwhile you’re destroying your body, no chance of ever settling at the weight you’re 'supposed' to be. So we’re paying for them to destroy our bodies, because we’re not allowed to feel happy with the size we are... Why should we have to starve to be beautiful?"
Dawn attributes her healthy self esteem to her parents "I was so loved and supported". She says; "In my family, there was no suggestion that I should ever eat less. My father thought I was the most delicious girl, and was always telling me so. He told me that I was uncommonly beautiful, that I was the most precious thing in his life, that he prized me above all else, and that he was proud to be my father."
That's not to say that it has always been easy for Dawn, she dieted like a mad thing to fit into the perfect wedding dress when she married comedian Lenny Henry in the early 1980's. Later, when they underwent the lengthy investigations and processes to adopt their young daughter, Billie, Dawn was told she could not adopt because of her weight and had to diet again, reluctantly. Despite it all Dawn has managed to become one of the most successful comediennes in the world today, and she's done it by being herself.
In my opinion, Dawn French is the ultimate Realwoman. She has shown that it doesn't matter what size you are, you can do anything and you are still beautiful. I'm working on finding a little more Dawn French in me, that is aside from our shared chocoholism!
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