Critique of 'as a Doctor I Have to Tell You That Two of These Models Are Too Fat to Represent “Real” Women’ by Dr Ellie Cannon

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‘As a doctor I have to tell you that two of these models are too fat to represent “real” women’ by Dr Ellie Cannon [2012] is an article published in The Daily Mail, a well-established UK tabloid. Cannon (2012) reiterates the point that obesity is “neither a feminist nor a cosmetic issue” (para. 5). Rather, she asserts that being over-weight is a health concern, and urges society not to normalise its acceptance.

Cannon’s points are logical and true of society, and she engages her audience with clear and simple language while raising relevant examples. However, she does not make a deep analysis of the situation, leaving readers with problems but no solutions. Also, her casual writing style serves to undermine her credibility on the issue.

After the “backlash against anorexic models” (Cannon, 2012, para. 18) in the past, the fashion industry has gone into an overcorrection, opting instead for “real women with real bodies” (Cannon, 2012, para. 10), who are, in reality, overweight. Logically, Cannon believes that the use of these overweight models pushes society towards normalisation of body weight as an aesthetic issue, and she cautions against accepting the idea that “fat is fine” (Cannon, 2012, para. 14), as obesity is still a serious health problem that already “costs the NHS a staggering £5.1 billion a year” (Cannon, 2012, para. 13).

However, Cannon repetitively laments about the situation, without offering any advice on how to overcome the problem. While she encourages society to stop “running about in circles trying to find the obesity solution” (Cannon, 2012, para. 16), Cannon offers no alternative to her readers on how society can possibly break away from the ‘circle’. As a General Practitioner, she could have provided suggestions, based on her professional knowledge, on what might work for society.

Nonetheless, Cannon delivers her message in a simple and entertaining manner. She avoids the use of medical jargon, even when referring to specific...
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