Often lauded for her womanly curves, celebrity cookbook author and TV host Nigella Lawson is getting grief from those who say she’s too fat, according to an article in the London Times. Commenters on the BBC website have been “expressing horror at her perceived weight gain during the filming of the current, gloriously gluttonous television series, Nigella Express. Comments have ranged from ‘She’s a porker’ to ‘What sort of an example is she setting with her weight and her appetite for high-calorie sweets and cream?’”

Nigella, voted as one of the “most beautiful women” in the world just two years ago, speaks out about the allegations.

‘I think it is a fear of flesh,’ says Nigella, ‘maybe of vulnerability and softness.’ Is that ultimately a fear of sex? ‘I don’t know. But I do think that women who spend all their lives on a diet probably have a miserable sex life: if your body is the enemy, how can you relax and take pleasure? Everything is about control, rather than relaxing, about holding everything in.’

Nigella feels the fear of weight is a female thing. “In my experience,” she says, “the weight thing is an almost totally female problem. I never feel bad about my weight around men, only women. Women act like it is somehow a moral failing to have hips.”

In the end, it’s probably Nigella who gets the last word. “[I]n real life,” she points out, “this is normal size.”

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