Nigella not shy about her shape
NIGELLA Lawson is accustomed to having her shape and weight analysed on a daily basis.
But don’t be thinking she has ever wanted to be categorised by media commentators as super thin.
Lawson, who has been in the US filming a role as a judge on new reality show The Taste, insists she will always be curvy because she associates weight loss with death.
The kitchen queen recently lost weight thanks to exercise and rationing wine to Friday nights only, but says she can’t associate being slim with being healthy.
Lawson’s husband, John Diamond, died from throat cancer in 2001, aged 47, and her mother Vanessa died of liver cancer at 48, while her younger sister, Thomasina, died of breast cancer at 32.
Nigella, who wed Charles Saatchi in 2003, said in a UK interview: ‘‘ I’m always going to be someone who goes up and down. I don’t equate thinness with healthiness, as other people do, because I’ve only ever seen people get thin and then die.’’
Lawson has carved a long culinary career by rejecting stereotypes and speaking her mind.
On the pressure some TV presenters feel to look a certain way, she says: ‘‘ Today, it’s all about marketing and people want to know where to place you. And I suppose I just don’t care about that.’’
Most recently, she garnered attention for telling the producers of The Taste that they could not retouch images of her to reduce her belly.
It’s not about vanity. It’s about voice. And she wants hers heard — or in the case of her curves, seen — without layers of producers and editors and retouchers reinterpreting her message.
‘‘ I don’t need that to be mediated by any other person,’’ she says.
‘‘ To have your voice tampered with is a terrible thing. It has to be a genuine conversation with the reader.’’ That’s why when Lawson writes cookbooks – including her justreleased ode to Italian cooking, Nigellissima – she sends them to the designer long before they go to her publisher. It’s a way to preserve her vision for the book rather than have an editor decide how it should look.
It’s also why she’s comfortable dropping the names of British philosophers — in this case Bertrand Russell — in the introduction of Nigellissima, the sort of highfalutin’ chatter that would end up chopped by most cookbook editors. AP Nigella Feasts, Lifestyle Food, Thursday, 8.30pm
Standing firm: Nigella Lawson won’t have her image tampered with.