Are We Really Fat Shaming Colleen McCullough The Day After She Died? Really guys??

Colleen McCullough
Colleen McCullough

World renowned Australian author Colleen McCullough sadly passed away yesterday, 29/01/15, at the age of 77.

Here is part of what The Australian newspaper decided to write in her obituary:

COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth. In one interview, she said: “I’ve never been into clothes or figure and the interesting thing is I never had any trouble attracting men.”

You can read the full article here if you don’t believe me. It seems pretty crazy right?

Well, I’m sorry to say, this isn’t a joke. This is a real obituary in a real newspaper. I suppose this is just the kind of thing that happens when the majority of a country’s media is owned by two people. They can write whatever they like and we have to read it. I may be forced to read it but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to speak out when I disagree with what has been written.

Colleen McCullough is Australia’s best selling author. She is most well known for her brilliant novel, The Thorn Birds. She wrote 25 novels, 5 of which had screen adaptations. She was a brilliant story teller and a dedicated researcher. She was also a neurophysiologist! From what I know about Collen McCullough, she also seemed like she was a nice person.

I’m writing this blog post to speak out and say that I’m not ok with The Australian feeling the need to tell us all that Colleen was fat in her obituary. This is fat shaming of the highest order and completely unnecessary. I never once cared about what she looked like when reading her novels. I never care what the author of the book I’m reading looks like. How on earth could that ever be relevant to the enjoyment of a book?

Vale Colleen and thank you for all of the wonderful stories that you were kind enough to share with everyone.


37 thoughts on “Are We Really Fat Shaming Colleen McCullough The Day After She Died? Really guys??

  1. The Australian is well known for being an affront to the paper it’s printed on. Murdoch gives the Australian media a bad name and I’m ashamed to think he was ever one of us. Can’t believe this shit gets printed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also ‘plain of feature’ – wtf???? a) I know whether she is or isn’t is not relevant, but she isn’t, b) I bet you the writer of this is an ugly git who can’t get laid and c) wtf????

    I don’t know if it’s true but Aus men have a reputation in the rest of the world for being slightly, shall we say, backward and sexist at worst. Which is probably as lack in intelligence as this obit!!!

    It would be interesting to take 50 obits, 25 of each gender, and see how many of each mention their physical appearance. Go on. Any takers????

    Please put this on #SundayBlogShare and #MondayBlogs, on appropriate days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Terry! Apparently the story is that the obit was written years ago by a man who is now deceased himself and in their rush to publish failed to edit.

      Sadly, this is true of a lot of Australian men. Casual sexism and racism is still a very big thing. The Australian is owned by Rupert Murdoch, so that explains some things a little bit. I’m very happy to report that #myozobituary is now trending on Twitter. Have a read, it will make you feel much better!

      I definitely will keep sharing this, it’s important that we keep talking about this, although I wonder if it will ever get through? Our Prime Minister thinks social media is electronic graffiti after all!


  3. “Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.” The negative connotation in my opinion lies not in the use of the terms “Plain of feature and overweight” but in the use of the word ‘nevertheless’. How exactly are , ‘overweight and plain features’ and ‘wit and warmth’ mutually exclusive???? I am a fan of her writing. RIP Colleen,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How odd and insensitive, especially given that it is an obituary. What a peculiar thing to highlight. Obviously the writer of this obituary was lacking in wit and imagination, and couldn’t come up with anything interesting to say. All in all sounds like a bit of a twat, quite possibly a chauvinistic twat at that?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Leave it to Murdoch’s people to show this kind of poor taste. We have his Fox News here in the U.S. and it’s petty and insipid. Guess it all starts from the top.

    RIP, CM. I loved The Thorn Birds. Still have a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

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