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laura adlington

The diet is NOT starting Monday; Laura Adlington talks new book and life online

Laura Adlington is every woman’s new best friend. With her new book Diet Starts Monday dropping just in time for the new year, she’s striving to rewrite a few people’s New Year’s Resolutions and teach us to be just a little kinder to ourselves and our bodies. 

Laura Adlington

Star Baker

Laura first rose to fame in the 11th series of Channel 4’s incredibly popular television show, The Great British Bake Off. Since then, she has been on a mission to not only share her love of baking but also show others how to love their bigger bodies. She shares fashion and lifestyle videos on her Instagram, hosts the Go Love Yourself podcast, and is a general delight to talk to. 

When it came to being suddenly thrust into the public’s scrutiny, Laura divulged that one of her considerations before joining Bake Off was how others might perceive her plus-size body: “When we were announced as bakers, there was an article done by my local paper online, which was like ‘Local Girl Does Good and is on Bake Off’ and the first comment on the article, about 20 minutes after it had gone live was ‘looks like someone’s been eating all the practice cakes’ and someone replied under that comment saying ‘and everyone else’s too’. And I thought oh shit, what have I done? This is awful”. 

Laura Adlington

Despite the online trolling, Laura remained steadfast and made it to the final. “Overall, I was surprised there was not more vitriol about my weight; most of the trolling I got was people thinking I shouldn’t have made it through to the next round! […] Now I get horrible comments on the daily and I don’t give a toss, I just think whoever is commenting must be sad.”  

While Laura often discusses the thick skin she has had to develop as a plus-size person dealing with other people’s comments, she mentioned how the tide seemed to be slowly turning in the right direction: “It gave me hope that things were changing. When people were nasty on Twitter, for example, obviously some people joined in, but there were a lot of people who were saying, ‘It’s not cool to talk about people’s bodies; it’s 2020, be kind.’ It was weird being thrust into the limelight, but when you’re bigger, you do develop a thick skin.” 

Plus size positivity

When discussing why people find bigger bodies so offensive, Laura mentioned that: “People feel they have the right to talk about your body because of the size of it.” She echoed the sentiments that a lot of plus-size people feel, especially women; according to Laura, they feel “entitled’ to discuss it. 

Laura is trying to turn this discussion into a neutral one. She thinks that the body acceptance movement is going in the right direction but still has a long way to go: “People think that body positivity means having to love every inch of yourself, but that’s impossible to do.” Laura calls for body neutrality, not forcing positivity on your body but accepting it as it is. She says, “I have a body, and so does everyone else. My body is the least interesting thing about me.” 

Laura Adlington

Laura also discussed the trend of “acceptable fat” bodies, describing a woman as “size 14-16, curvy, hourglass figures, light-skinned and with a beautiful face. I think that’s what we’ve been offered up as the image of the body positivity movement.” She discussed how it scares her: “Body positivity was never about a specific look or commercialising off of bigger people, it has it’s roots in the civil rights movement. It’s always been about equal rights for black, Jewish, queer and disabled big women.”

Reclaiming your fatness

Fat is a very difficult word for a lot of plus-size women. Laura shares her struggle with trying to reclaim the word for her own: “For such a small word, it holds immense power, its because we’ve been conditioned to think of it as cruel. If I have any kind of altercation with anyone, it’s always slung at me as an insult.” 

Laura recommends the fabulous Aubrey Gordon, a fat activist from the US: “she says, in order to take back the power and neutralise the word like we use the word brunette, tall, short or whatever. It’s easier said then done though. While I find the term plus-size quite ‘othering’, it’s up to each person’s preference whether they want to use fat to describe themselves.”

One thing is for certain: if we looked at our bodies the way Laura is trying to, the world would be a much better place: “Above all, it is not your life’s purpose to lose weight. You don’t owe anyone thinness. Be kind to yourself because you only get one life and one body, don’t waste it by spending your time hating yourself. It is possible to have a full happy life full of love without surgery, or a fad diet, go live it!”

Laura Adlington’s Diet Starts Monday was released on the 4th of January and is available anywhere you get your books.

We spoke to Laura on our Podcast!