OK, this is just ridiculous!
Over the past couple decades Love Actually has become one of the most contentious movies ever, with some arguing it’s a Christmas classic and others hitting back that it’s a problematic nightmare.
One thing everyone should be able to agree on — we would think — is the mistreatment of Natalie, the aide whom the Prime Minister falls in love with. In one of her first scenes, Natalie tells new PM Hugh Grant how she broke up with her boyfriend because he told her she was getting fat and “no one’s gonna fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks.” Later on we learn her father calls her by the nickname “Plumpy.”
Love or actually hate the movie, everyone should know it’s horribly wrong for someone to say to a fellow human being, right?
Well, all these years later, sadly we’re seeing just as much body shaming, and in both directions. And actress Martine McCutcheon is still a target.
The 43-year-old momma has lost quite a bit of weight over the past couple years, and she’s been showing off her new figure in fashion ads on Instagram. But the latest is causing as much controversy as her most famous film!
It all started with what seemed like a rather elegant ad for Wallis Fashion:
A post shared by Martine McCutcheon (@martinemccutcheon)
But not all the commenters were impressed with her classic French-style jumper. Quite a few couldn’t stop thinking about her body — and making some extremely harsh judgments about how she’d gotten too thin of late! Here’s a sampling of some of the hurtful comments:
“Beautiful as always but just a bit thin.”
“Don’t lose any more weight babe.”
“Where have you gone? Very worrying how much weight you have lost”
“unbelievably thin she looks ill tbh”
“You are beautiful, please get help.”
Wow. Can we just say… give the woman some credit! Assuming she doesn’t know how to maintain a healthy weight for herself is so freaking reductive! She’s looked amazing at every time in her career, including now, and if it’s not your taste, maybe just STFU about it, how about that?!
In a 2016 interview, Martine actually spoke about the comments on her weight — which have followed her around since well before Love Actually as she started acting at just 12 years old and was still a teenager when she scored a major role on the soap opera EastEnders. She told the Daily Record of her treatment all that time:
“People spoke about me like I was a piece of meat and I can’t believe that’s still going on in this day and age. I’m sure people still say horrible things but it’s water off a duck’s back because I have an anchor within myself.”
The Loose Women panelist, who gave birth to her son Rafferty in 2015, decided to take her time taking the weight off — because she was finally content with how she looked:
“If I choose to be a size 10 or a size 16, it’s my choice. Women’s weight fluctuates, and the constant comments on size is boring.”
Preach it, gurl!
As for those who think the film is problematic in its depiction of how people treat her? That’s not how Martine sees it at all. In a 2017 Cosmopolitan interview on the subject, she said of the comments people made about her character being fat:
“You’re meant to go, ‘No, she’s not, I think she’s lovely’… Every woman thinks there’s something wrong with them when in actual fact… they are perfect and lovely as they are. was meant to be the embodiment of that and I think sometimes people have missed that point.”
Something tells us that particular debate will rage on as long as cinema exists. But in the meanwhile, can we all agree to STOP TELLING WOMEN TO LOSE OR GAIN WEIGHT PLEASE?!
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