Fiona Apple wants everyone to stop worrying about her weight, or so she says after a lot of attention paid to her health has left her feeling bullied.
Apple states she is losing weight due to stress, that she is not on drugs and that she is healthy. Largely she asserts that it is no one’s business what her health or appearance are.
Recent reports have cited troubling signs such as the death of her dog and subsequent tour cancellation, an arrest for possession of marijuana in Texas and her poorly handled response, and some recent outbursts at concerts directed towards the audience, as reasons for their concern over her health. She has lost a notable amount of weight recently, which she attributes to stress, and speculation, or straight up assumptions, of anorexia swirl freely with people like Perez Hilton bringing in “experts” to discuss her health based upon photos alone.
Stories circulating Facebook about Apple’s meltdown following the heckler who commented on her weight in the middle of a show have included comments from people who actually defend the heckler, saying that this person’s heart was in the right place because Apple clearly looks unhealthy. It is beyond the scope of this article read the mind and intentions of that heckler. If this “fan” were given the benefit of the doubt and it was assumed that he actually did wish to express genuine concern, he went about it the entirely wrong way.
Calling a woman with a history of struggles with eating disorders out about her weight in front of an entire room crammed full of people is never the right thing to do. Calling any woman out on her weight, regardless of her history, will always result in humiliation. It is not caring to humiliate a person publicly. It is not surprising at all that Fiona Apple would feel bullied after being exposed to such thoughtless expressions of “concern” about her health.
Perhaps more troubling than the heckler who felt entitled to “intervene” while Ms. Apple was performing is the fact that most of the attention from this incident is on how she handled the situation. Questions regarding her mental and physical health have made their rounds on the internet with many instances where her behavior supports their theories.
Ms. Apple has responded to this widespread speculation with her typical candor. At a show in Clearwater, Florida, Apple took to the stage early to discuss how she has been affected by the media diagnoses attempts, saying, “lay off with that stuff because it hurts my feelings. If for no other reason, that should be a good enough reason. Stop hurting people’s feelings, stop bullying people because you were bullied.” The rest of her speech can be seen in the video below.
Unfortunately, this appeal to common decency was not enough to curb the impulse of the heckler at her more recent concert. Her emotional reaction to the words of this person was met with attitudes that made it seem like she was hysterical and irrational, therefore clearly on the brink of a breakdown of some sort. Because apparently her being hurt by a person who intentionally humiliated her makes her a weak person.
Whatever it is that she is dealing with, chances are she has a lot more information on the circumstances than any fans or media do. She is the only one who is in charge of her health and being a public figure only means that she is meant to entertain us with her chosen form of artistic expression. She does not owe anyone an explanation regarding her body, her health, or how she chooses to deal with them. She is has not consented to bullying because she has made herself visible. In fact, she has adimately, with no mincing of words, declined to partake in that cultural vein, no matter how inexplicably staunchly it is defended as a legitimate way to be caring.
Those who do care about Fiona Apple can express that in kinder ways, like loving letters that offer admiration, support and a lack of judgment. Otherwise, listen to her music and keep your mouth shut because if worse case scenario rings true and Fiona Apple is struggling with an eating disorder, being bullied about her health, no matter how well intentioned, will prove to be very detrimental to her well being.
Written by: Vanessa Blanchard