Nigella Lawson, the British food writer and now judge on "The Taste," has refused to have her stomach photoshopped on advertisements for the show. The new season aired on Jan. 22, but Nigella had updated her blog prior to that, commenting on the advertisement photos.
In her blog she stated that: "Although it was very thrilling to think of being up on a billboard in LA and around the States, I was very strict and English and told them they weren't allowed to airbrush my tummy out. Wise? Hmmm. But that tum is the truth and is come by honestly, as my granny would have said."
Her simple explanation is humbling in a world where dishonesty is rife and images are never what they seem. But, it is very appropriate, too, given her profession to not hide the slight physical expressions of her enjoyment of food. It is admirable of her to present herself exactly as she is rather than what society would have her look like.
It reminds me also of a story I heard Eve Ensler tell of a trip to Africa where she met a 74-year-old Masai woman. When they spoke about body image and whether the African lady liked her body, Ensler was surprised to hear such a candid response that of course the lady liked her body, she loved her body. Ensler then confessed that she wanted to be able to love her body like the Masai woman did, but was uncomfortable with her stomach.
To that, the woman responded:
"It’s your stomach. It’s meant to be seen. Eve, look at that tree? Do you see that tree? Now look at that tree. (points to another tree) Do you like that tree? Do you hate that tree ’cause it doesn’t look like that tree?
Do you say the tree isn’t pretty ’cause it doesn’t look like that tree? We’re all trees. You’re a tree. I’m a tree. You’ve got to love your body, Eve. You’ve got to love your tree. Love your tree."
We all have to love our trees, exactly how they are without wanting to or willing them to change or using artificial means to represent them differently. I admire Nigella's confidence and bravery to portray her body honestly and accept it as it is.