Dear Richard Clune, Sunday Telegraph: Why Be So Cruel?

Dear Richard!

I was disappointed reading your Television page in today’s Sunday Telegraph. I have always enjoyed reading your column but was saddened to read you referring to Big, Beautiful & Sexy celebrities as “FAT, sorry, cuddly celebrities “and “Teletubbies”.

I know that journalism is all about headlines and getting the public’s attention (you certainly got mine), but why be so cruel?

Calling people “FAT” or “Teletubbies” is really uncool and are derogatory terms used by many children while bullying others in schools. Do you not have a social conscience?

As a Big, Beautiful & Sexy woman, I have been on the receiving end of my fair share of fat jokes and they hurt. There are many kids out there who suffer from being bullied because of their weight or appearance. I was one of them!  I have been fortunate enough to travel across Australia delivering self-image presentations and have witnessed firsthand what fat jokes can do to a young person’s self esteem. Many of these kids withdraw from their family and friends and often think about suicide. It brings me to tears just thinking about it.

Now do I have YOUR attention?!?!

I don’t think anyone (whether celebrity or not) should be called derogatory terms because of their weight or physical appearance.

People who appear on programs about weight-loss are doing something to better their life. They also inspire others.

Although it is very important to lead a healthy life style, life sometimes gets in the way. It takes a lot of will-power and self-determination to get life back on track.

I admire every single celebrity who will be appearing on Excess Baggage. It takes a lot of courage to shed weight and confront demons while being watched by millions in their lounge rooms.

Shouldn’t we encourage rather than discourage?

It took me nearly 7 years to overcome the pain post-Australian Idol to have the confidence to not care what people think or say about me.  I hope your taunts do not discourage the celebrities who have agreed to participate in the show in fear of being on the receiving end of fat jokes.  I also hope your column does not send out the wrong message to young Australia’s about calling people FAT.

Big, Beautiful & Sexy is not about promoting obesity or an unhealthy life style. It is an ethos I have adopted to encourage people to be comfortable in their own skin. It helped me through my dark days so I hope it can help others as well. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman; gay or straight; or if you vote labour or liberal. Big, Beautiful & Sexy is about being positive and proud of whom you are.  Once you acknowledge that, your world opens up. You will then take in your stride a Big personality, Beautiful heart and Sexy soul.

Once you are happy in your own skin, it can be a beautiful thing.

I hope when I read your page next weekend, I can call you Big, Beautiful & Sexy Richard Clune.

I am Big, Beautiful & Sexy and proud of it!

Casey Donovan xoxo