Dawn French, “Happy In Her Skin”

In a recent interview tied to her new novel (not yet out in the US), Dawn French mused about how most articles about her mention her weight.

“Sometimes it’s done in a mean way, but I do find it strange because it’s not as though it’s a new thing, I’ve been this size for a long time, you would think people might not feel the need to talk about it, that it would be old news by now,” she says.

Her tone is more incredulous than irritated. […]  Her weight is a source of fascination, she believes, because some people find it impossible to believe that as a larger woman she can be confident and comfortable in her skin. “There are people who think I must be in some really, really deep denial . . . so much so that I’ve sometimes had to stop and ask myself whether they are right and is it really a front, and then I realise that no, actually I really am happy and it’s their problem, not mine.”

More from Ms French here.



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11 responses to “Dawn French, “Happy In Her Skin””

  1. Twistie Avatar

    Let’s see… she’s got a great career, a smokin’ hot husband who’s also every bit as funny as she is, more than enough money… yeah, I can see why people think she should be miserable for being fat. (Rolls eyes so hard they threaten to eject from their sockets)

    Dawn French rules!

    1. Tehomet Avatar

      Actually, she and Lenny Henry are either divorced or in the process of getting divorced, but it’s very amicable, from all accounts. And that nitpick aside, I totally agree with you. It must be *so* rough being an English national treasure and acknowledged hottie with wall to wall friends, a lovely daughter, money to burn, homes in London and Devon, and a new book about to be published. How *does* she cope?! :D

      1. Twistie Avatar

        Damn. I hadn’t heard that they’d broken up. I wish them both well, and it is heartening to hear that they’re keeping it amicable. That just goes to prove them both the class acts I’ve always thought them to be.

  2. Phyllis Jeans Avatar
    Phyllis Jeans


  3. wriggles Avatar

    some people find it impossible to believe that as a larger woman she can be confident and comfortable in her skin.

    Funny, this conflicts with them telling us that too much self respect is the reason why we remain fat!

  4. stretchingtime Avatar

    Yes, DF is great–but unfortunately (or, who knows, maybe not) it’s no longer true about the smokin’ hot husband–they split earlier this year, but apparently very amicably. The Irish Times article says there is ‘new romance’ in her life …

  5. Tehomet Avatar

    Dawn French was the first fat woman (apart from certain relatives of mine) I ever heard of who was fat and confident. She’s inspirational.

  6. Diana Avatar

    Whenever I express self-confidence, I get looks of shock. It’s amusing, especially when something happens to demonstrate I am not in fact delusional.

    Dawn French and every other strong big woman: screwing with the perceptions of the narrow class since 2010 (and before.)

  7. lifeonfats Avatar

    Love Dawn (and Jennifer Saunders). They’re hysterical. It’s interesting that with the UK being so panicked over fat, they sometimes don’t hesitate to cast bigger actors and actresses in parts where their size doesn’t matter, unlike here in the US.

    Also, if you haven’t already, please watch her Big Women series, which I think is still on YouTube. It was a real eye-opener for me.

  8. notblueatall Avatar

    Dear Maude do I love Dawn French! She is just the greatest. Thanks for this!

  9. The WellRounded Mama Avatar

    I love love LOVE Dawn French. I loved her in the Vicar of Dibley and in so many other things. Fabulous!

    I wrote about her road to parenting a while ago on my blog. She wanted to adopt a child, but the British system wouldn’t let her adopt at her size. She had to lose weight in order to qualify to adopt; she was flabbergasted at the requirement and fought it, but they wouldn’t budge. So she did an end run around them….she lost weight, adopted her daughter, and then returned to her usual size.

    It’s yet another way in which the British system tries to keep women of size from parenting. Forbidding fertility help above a certain BMI, requiring fat pregnant women to attend weight watchers or slimmer’s world, trying to require fat women go to certain hospitals and denying them access to lower-tech/birth-friendly midwives and services, denying the opportunity to adopt above a certain BMI, etc…..I’ve documented examples of all of these on my blog.

    I’ve always admired Dawn for thumbing her nose at the system and having a daughter and a happy life anyhow. Thanks for sharing this great interview!

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