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CMAT criticises ‘fat-shaming’ comments on BBC video

Image source, Getty Images

Image description, CMAT played at the Big Weekend shortly after being nominated for Best Album at the Ivor Novello Awards

  • Author, Mark Savage
  • Role, Music correspondent

Singer-songwriter CMAT says the BBC disabled comments on a video of her performance on Radio 1’s Big Weekend after she received offensive messages about her weight.

The Instagram clip showed the Irish star ripping off her shirt to reveal a tighter-fitting outfit during her performance on Sunday afternoon.

“I didn’t realize it was illegal to have a huge butt!” she wrote.

“I am guilty as charged. It’s time to lock myself up and throw away the key.”

“By the way, I am an award-winning songwriter who has released two albums that have received ‘universal acclaim,'” she added.

The country-pop singer, whose real name is Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, was nominated for Best Album at the Ivor Novello Awards last week and Best International Artist at the Brit Awards in March.

She said a second video filmed during the Brit ceremony had also gone viral on South American TikTok – “and now people are calling me fat in Spanish.”

Image description, The singer played in the New Music Tent at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Luton

However, other videos of her performance at Big Weekend were received positively.

“Love of my life, light of my universe,” wrote one fan under a clip of the song Aw, Shoot on YouTube.

“What an icon, what a voice, what a talent,” added another.

BBC Radio 1 did not respond to a request for comment on this article.

Personal abuse

However, this is not the first time that the BBC has had to control commentary on clips from music festivals.

Last summer, BBC 6 Music deleted a video of indie singer Billy NoMates’ performance at Glastonbury following heavy criticism.

“The level of personal abuse on BBC 6 Music’s social media channels because I went to work today is insane,” she wrote on her Instagram page. “I have asked for all footage to be removed.”

“I know what I do is not for everyone,” she continued. “I know a lot of people don’t like me. But the level of personal insults on this public page is just too much.”

The musician, whose real name is Tor Maries, received supportive messages from artists such as Billy Bragg, The Anchoress and Lonelady, who criticized the sexist and misogynistic nature of the comments.

Partly in response to this incident, 6 Music recently launched an initiative called “Change The Tune” aimed at combating online abuse.

It included a “code of conduct” for people who leave comments on its social media pages.

The guidelines discourage users from posting if they don’t like the music and include a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination based on disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

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In addition, women are eight times more likely to face discrimination than men, the report said.

Last year, a similar report found that 30 percent of musicians in the UK reported suffering from mental health problems.

Image source, Getty Images

Image description, Victoria Beckham recently said comments about her weight had affected her self-confidence.

Female artists in particular are constantly confronted with comments about their weight and appearance.

Earlier this week, Victoria Beckham said that tabloid coverage of her figure following the birth of her first child in 1999 made her hesitant to go public.

“I never want to seem like I’m complaining, but there have been times in the past when I didn’t feel safe enough to sit on a beach and watch my children play,” she told Grazia.

“I remember my first appearance after giving birth to Brooklyn was on the front page of the newspaper with arrows showing me where I needed to lose weight.”

“These things can affect how you feel and behave in public.”

Although newspapers and magazines have (largely) reduced this type of body shaming in recent years, similar comments are still published on the Internet every day.

Jorja Smith felt compelled to address the issue last year after hundreds of people criticized her appearance in the music video for “Little Things (Remix).”

“Because, that’s right, I’m 26. I’m not 18. I’ve never been super skinny – I’ve been slimmer, but I’ve also been younger and a kid.”

She continued: “Things change, don’t they, with your body? … I’m like, damn, I feel a little insecure about it and now people are commenting on it.”

“Misogynistic and boring”

However, the star added that she was determined not to let the comments affect her.

“I have to ask myself, ‘What are they going through?’ No one has ever said anything personally, ever. It’s very interesting,” she said.

Image source, Getty Images

Image description, Jorja Smith says people write comments online that they would never make publicly.

And pop star Charli XCX also noted that she was criticized for not appears on the cover of her upcoming album “Brat”.

When she unveiled the artwork—a neon green background with the word “Brat” superimposed in black—some fans accused her art director of “going on strike.”

Charli tweeted in response: “I find the constant demand for access to female bodies and faces in our album art misogynistic and boring.”

She expanded on this thought, telling Rolling Stone that the cover was intentionally sparse and direct.

“I want you to look at yourself and ask yourself why it bothers you so much that my face isn’t on the cover. What does that say about pop culture if you’re so upset about it? What does that say about your expectations of your artists?” she said.

“My album cover sparks so many conversations and I think those are more interesting conversations than, ‘Oh my God, look how hot she looks.'”