Nigella not shy about her shape

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

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.

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