Nigella Lawson has built her career on cooking and eating delicious food, and she doesn’t want people to hide that by slimming down her stomach with Photoshop.
The 58-year-old British chef, who hosted Food Network’s Nigella Feasts and is a prolific culinary writer, tweeted Saturday that she’s often had “to tell American tv stations not to airbrush my sticking out stomach.”
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She continued, “The hatred of fat, and assumption that we’d all be grateful to be airbrushed thinner is pernicious.”
The revelation came in response to a post by fellow Brit Jameela Jamil, 32, who stars in NBC’s The Good Place. The actress was rebutting an article that described her approach to body positivity as “beseeching [women] to look uglier for the benefit of society.”
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Jamil wrote to her fans: “[The writer] thinks you’re ‘UGLY’ just as you are. She also doesn’t understand that a huge part of why I hate photoshop is how it’s used as a tool of erasure of ethnicities, our skin colour, our features. This is embarrassing white privilege and deep misogyny. Slow clap.”
Lawson also came out against airbrushing five years ago when promoting her show The Taste on ABC. According to UK outlet The Telegraph, she had to pose for pictures for billboards and recalled: “I could see [the executives] wincing when they saw my tummy bulging out of my dress. And when I say bulging, I don’t mean huge. I just mean you could see the roundness. It was a tummy.”
She further explained: “I really didn’t want to become what I’m not. I’m all for taking exercise so that I can eat as much as I can without getting too huge but, nevertheless, I didn’t want to be turned into a plastic creation. As human beings, we are flawed, and it would make me more anxious to hide my flaws than to reveal them.”
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Even though her stomach may “stick out” from time to time, the cookbook author takes steps to stay fit as she moves through her late 50s. In an interview with Good Housekeeping UK in September 2017, she shared that yoga was her exercise of choice.
“I do yoga three times a week. I have to do something I enjoy, otherwise I wouldn’t do it,” Lawson told the magazine. “The older I get the more I realize I have got to do lots of stretching. So even if I’m not doing yoga, I make myself do lots of stretching.”
For the cover story, she also addressed the ever-relevant topic of people posting pictures of their food on social media.
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“As long as people are cooking it at home, I don’t mind what they are doing with it on social media,” she continued. “I will sometimes do a brown stew because I can’t resist it and say, ‘Yes, it is brown.’ That is what a stew is! It’s a wonderful thing that lifts the spirit!”
But Lawson added that some of the most popular food trends on Instagram, like smoothie bowls, just don’t seem like things people actually eat in real life.
“The thing about a smoothie bowl is that it’s a nice picture, but I don’t know who eats smoothie bowls…Who?” she quipped.