“By calling girls like me fat this is what you’re doing to other people,” Ms. Cyrus tweeted on Saturday, attaching a photo of a severely emaciated woman.
“i love MYSELF & if you could say the same you wouldn’t be sitting on your computer trying to hurt others.”
The 18-year-old then posted a shot of Marilyn Monroe clad in a one-piece bathing suit: “PROOF that you can be adored by thousands of men, even when your thighs touch,” read the caption.
Coming from a much-maligned child star, it was a sweet sentiment, albeit one that reinforced the notion that body image hinges mostly on male approval.
Her next tweet confirmed that world view: “I don’t wanna be shaped like a girl I LOVE being shaped like a WOMAN & trust me ladies your man wont mind either ;)”
For his part, Ms. Cyrus’s boyfriend has spoken lovingly of her healthy appetite: “When I look over at her when she’s biting into a steak sandwich and there is some steak sauce dripping down her chin, there is nothing sexier than that,” actor Liam Hemsworth told Who, an Australian online magazine.
Ms. Cyrus’s defensive tweets got a torrent of attention, including a shout out from her fellow ex-Disney star Demi Lovato, who re-tweeted the Monroe photo with an “AMEN!” There was much Twitter hugginess before Ms. Cyrus threatened to “destroy any one that ever calls you the F word” – that being “fat.”
Ms. Lovato has confessed to developing a “really unhealthy relationship with food” at age 8, which she blames on childhood bullying. In 2010, the singer entered a treatment centre for self-injury and bulimia, which had her losing her voice on stage from chronic purging.
After completing treatment, Ms. Lovato’s appearance didn’t escape the wrath of trolls online. She lashed out on Twitter then too: “I’ve gained weight. Get over it. That’s what happens when you get out of treatment for AN EATING DISORDER.”
While the child stars’ squealing Twitter exchange was girlish, it adds to a small but noisy chorus of female celebrities fighting back against weight bullying in the industry.
“You know I have got muscley legs, me and my sisters and my mum are quite proud of our muscley, strong legs and hips and all the rest of it,” Ms. Winslet said in a statement.
Do you think female celebrities have a role to play when they are publicly bullied about their weight?