Jelena Dokic has lost 20 kilos. If only she could shed the trolls

Jelena Dokic has lost 20 kilos. If only she could shed the trolls

Messaging someone to express disappointment at their weight loss is undoubtedly insensitive, if not despicable behaviour. Yet it’s perhaps understandable if people living in bigger bodies feel left behind when a public figure such as Dokic or singer-songwriter Adele undergoes a drastic loss of weight. Our world demonises fatness so relentlessly that when someone in a larger body is celebrated for their brilliance, it can feel, even if only briefly, that the world is waking up to what is really important.So, when plus-sized celebrities receive a positive public reaction for weight loss, inevitably leading to “supportive” anti-fat comments, it can feel as if that fleeting moment just evaporated.It is similarly disillusioning to watch incredible women in larger bodies do great things, only to be met with lengthy public discussion of their bodies. Sara Milliken, recently crowned Miss National American Alabama, immediately faced online body trolls and questions of the legitimacy of her title and pageant.Amid widespread misreporting of Milliken’s title, former Miss Alabama Amie Beth Shaver rushed to denounce the contest won by Milliken as less prestigious than the Miss America pageant she was part of. “But this National American Miss, no one has heard of it,” Shaver told US outlet 1819 news. “I don’t even know what it is. If you are a pageant person, you’re only going to participate in either Miss America or Miss USA.”Dokic experienced disregard for her achievements by body shamers this time last year. “If my size defines me and measures my worth for someone out there and makes me less worthy in someone’s eyes, well that says everything about them,” she wrote in response, in a previous Instagram post.LoadingIn a peri-Ozempic world, we’re witnessing a lot of people’s bodies changing around us. The continued fixation on Oprah Winfrey’s weight since she announced her support of the medication semaglutide led to headlines and online speculation about her trip to the emergency department this week.But there’s a big problem with using someone else’s body as a guide for our own sense of worthiness. I should know. I used to do it all the time when I suffered from anorexia.The danger is that bodies change, whether by choice or by chance. Taking ownership of the size of another person’s body is both unfair to them and harmful to you.That’s why we must hear what Dokic is working so hard to teach us. “While I have lost 20 kilos it changes nothing,” she says. “I still want people to value me and others based on whether we are kind and good people.”This includes refraining from using derogatory terms about big bodies, even when expressing support for Dokic. Her weight loss, she says, changes nothing. But if we listen to what she’s really saying, it could change everything.Hannah Vanderheide is a freelance health writer and actor based in Victoria.

https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/jelena-dokic-has-lost-20-kilos-if-only-she-could-shed-the-trolls-20240613-p5jlgn.html

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