So, here's a thing today my ediitor asked me to do a piece on one of the local MPs and her recent weight loss. He saw her in a fete and snapped a photo, and Trinidad is small, so this is the kind of thing that lights up the gossip cycle on facebook for a week or so.
Anyway, he wanted me to call and ask her about said weight loss for the article. I tried to keep it kind of neutral and mostly ask about her diet and exercise. That way I could trick myself into believing that I wasn't writing an article complimenting a government official on her weight loss and literally nothing else.
Anyway I do the interview and then chat with my editor and he wants me to call back and ask her how much weight she's lost "to add colour to the piece". I cringe, but I call her back and ask because I am poor and I need to eat. Her answer made me feel like SUCH A FFMINIST TRAITOR. Basically she said exactly what we always say, which is that she didn't want to focus on the numbers because she didn't want people to talk about her weight more than her work. I died a little inside when she said that (but I also gave a tiny fist pump for her standing up to me!) because I KNEW what I was doing and I knew how gross and potentially objectifying it was. UGH. I'm the worst.
And I still have to write the story. I'm really gonna try to gear it more towards "MP makes lifestyle change" rather than "ZOMG isn't she hot now?!" but I still feel dirty.
Take my feminist card. I don't deserve it!
ETA: I wrote it and it's not... as bad as it could be. I focused on her health benefits (she said the weight loss helped give her relief from an old sports injury) and on her exercise regimen. And I avoided all the tabloid-esque language like "dramatic weight loss!" and "slimdown" but it was kind of scary how readily accessible that language was to me. As in, that would be the first thing that came to mind to describe the situation and I had to consciously choose different words. That's really fucked up. But I think I managed to be complimentary without being condescending :/