Freelance writer Maura Kelley’s post called Should Fatties Get a Room on the Marie Claire US website managed to cause quite a stir – with over 3000 comments and a Big Fat Kiss-in launched on facebook in protest. And not surprisingly. Among other offensive statements, she went so far as to say ‘I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other’ when her editor asked her if she thought people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television? This was in reference to the CBS show Mike & Molly. She has since issued an apology – acknowledging that her post might have had something to do with her own body issues.

So while some bloggers have their extreme opinions, we feature 12 women to share their views in our November issue on how they really feel about their bodies. Interviewing some of these women for the feature made me realise how much we as women need to talk about our bodies more. For instance, what I consider to be plus size might not be what you consider plus size… and in some parts of the world, being very large is considered sexy and in others, size zero is desirable…

In that spirit we have a new column starting in January, called Body Politics, which will explore these very ideas and more. Our new writer Zanele Mji will offer a refreshing take on some of the body issues we all face specifically in SA, and especially from our own varying cultural, historical and social perspectives and bias. Hopefully we’ll deal with the issues more sensitively.

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine